Issue April 15, 2014

Purple Sounds

Zach Brock
CRISS CROSS JAZZ

After several excellent albums, Lexington native and DownBeat Rising Star Violinist Zach Brock’s second for well-respected Criss Cross pays tribute to several of his influences, from pioneers Stuff Smith and Joe Venuti to modernists Zbigniew Seifert and Jean-Luc Ponty. In the true spirit of jazz, tribute equals interpretation, not mimicry. Brock’s joined by guitarist Lund Lage, bassist Matt Penman and up-and-coming drummer Obed Calvaire. Opening with “Purple Sounds,” co-written by Smith and Dizzy Gillespie, Brock and company state the theme in stop-time, switching to swing for solos. Brock reimagines Django’s classic ballad “Nuages” as a funky workout, and chestnut “After You’ve Gone” as post-bop. Zappa’s “Twenty Small Cigars” is delightfully lilting. Brock’s “Brooklyn Ballad” is noirish, the slow, deliberate bass introduction giving way to delicate guitar artistry, then evocative bowing. Brock’s star has fully risen.