Tenor saxophonist and composer Tom Tallitsch is also in CT this Friday (see below) and he, too, is celebrating the release of a new CD. “All Together Now” is his 6th recording as a leader and the 3rd for Posi-Tone Records. Fittingly, there are 6 musicians on the date; besides the leader, there’s Mike DiRubbo (alto saxophone), Michael Dease (trombone), Brian Charette (acoustic and electric pianos, organ), Peter Brendler (bass) and Mark Ferber (drums) – all but the drummer have issued albums on the label (DiRubbo and Charette are also CT natives!)
9 of the 11 tracks are Tallitsch originals and display a penchant for strong melodies plus lively arrangements. The first track, “Passages“, jumps right out of the gate with smart rhythmic changes and great blowing all around. Ferber and Brendler lead the charge, the reeds and brass pick up the and all enjoy the thick cushion of piano chords from Charette. A pleasant surprise comes next with the gospel-soaked “The Night The Drove Old Dixie Down“, a spotlight for Charette in that both his piano and organ sounds are integral to the texture and movement of the piece. The leader’s tenor solo stays close to melody and the horns strongly respond in the background (make sure to pay attention Ferber’s brilliant drumming which is something you should always do).
The program contains 11 tracks, only one coming close to 6 minutes, yet the listener is bound to be fully satiated by the sounds. This is no mere “blowing” session, each song has a solid, even singable, melody line. Best of all, everyone gets a chance to be heard without the album turning into solo after solo. That makes the disk feel more like a group effort as if Tallitsch made sure everyone stayed sharp. For instance, the medium-tempo “Curmudgeon“, contains a bluesy melody line followed by short solos from both saxophonists and Dease; still, it’s the great work from the rhythm section that makes the song feel complete. Yes, these musicians are “pros” but even the most dedicated ones don’t always give their all. No such issue here – even blues tunes such as “Greasy Over Easy” have a snap in tier swagger. The CD closes with “Arches“, another piece with a gospel feel, a handsome melody, smart harmonies and more strong work from the rhythm section. The electric piano, full bass notes and excellent brushes work set up the solos. Bassist Brendler is oh-so-melodic in his short solo, setting up Charette’s short statement that leads to a soulful tenor spotlight while the alto and trombone sway in the background. The closing notes fade easily, a perfect close to an impressive session.
“All Together Now” lives up to its name, 6 musicians gathering for 1 day in the studio and creating a “joyful noise.” Post-Tone Records is celebrating its 20th year in a grand way, producing albums that are among the best producer Marc Free and engineer Nick O’Toole have sent our way – this just may be the best CD Tom Tallitsch has issued…so far. To find out more, go to www.tomtallitsch.com.