Fast and sleek neo-bop from Italy.
Slickly, craggy and Wayne Shorter and Lee Morganesque is how to describe drummer Chuck Zeuren's new sextet recording, Why Not??. Zeuren lays down the underpinning for the Trumpet-Tenor front of Shunzo Ono and Dave Finucane, respectively, and never lets up. The playing is upbeat and solid, even on ballads like "Wuz Up??" and "Old Friend". Zeuren shows his sense of humor by lampooning saxophonist and labelmate Jerry Bergonzi on "Ber-Gonz-Crazy" and providing Ono a firm stage for a blistering muted solo. Zeuren showcases his own talent sparingly, most notably in his tom solo on the ballad "At Last".
Zeuren composed and arranged all nine pieces, betraying his Berklee Training and his experience playing with Joe Lovano, John Scofield, and Gary Burton, among others. His writing and performance are current and technical without being showy or boring. The sonics are crisp and close to the front with no muddying of the overall sound. This is another solid effort from the RED Records label.
Personnel: Chuck Zeuren: Drums; Shunzo Ono: Trumpet, Flugelhorn; Dave Finucane: Tenor Saxophone; Dick Sarpola: Bass; Richard Wilder: Piano; Café: Percussion.