Los Angeles Jazz Quartet | Family Song | Not Two Records

Not Two, 1998 | MW 705-2 | CD

Chuck Manning – tenor & soprano saxophone | Larry Koonse – guitar | Darek ‘Oles’ Oleszkiewicz – bass | Kevin Tullis – drums

Produced by Darek Oleszkiewicz. Co-producer: Larry Koonse Executive producer: Marek Winiarski. Recorded by Putter Smith at Dogby Studios on March 23 and 24 1998. Mixed, edited and mastered by Maurice Gainen, Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A. Art, design and photos by Giuliana

Tracklist: 1. Family Song [07:47] 2. Briggs [09:48] 3. Message From Roit [07:59] 4. Resurgence [07:27] 5. Winding Road [06:32] 6. A Tear From New York [08:52] 7. The Honeymoon [05:12] 8. Rachel And Sarah [06:28]

Dear Listener

we are proud to present our latest recording, family song. The quartet has been composing, performing and recording with the same personnel for five years. Most of the titles of the compositions on this CD contain references to our families and friends. For this reason we would like to dedicate this album to those people who occupy a special place in our lives.

We would like to thank our dear friends Putter and V.R. Smith whose generosity made this project possible. Thanks also go to Maurice Gainen for his expertise and technical assistance. Very special thanks to our loved ones for their understanding and support: Bobbi, Rachel Aviv and Sarah Jade Koonse, Maru and Linda Oleszkiewicz, Ann, Rob, Jack, Giuliana, Richard and Lona Manning, Helen E. Giuliano and Nick Giuliano Jr., Vk’y, David and Michael Young, Dave and Elaine Koonse, Terri Eckhardt, Beatrice Koonse. Teodozja and Ireneusz Grzebieluch, John and Suzanne Tullius. Rob and Sherry Tullius, Leonard and Fern Tomlin, David and Shirley Schnyder, Herrera Family, Szarzewicz Family, Waluda Family, Helia and John Flynn, Elizabeth and Jaime Govea, R.B. Doc Glen and Sha Costello. Thanks to our friends David Roitstein, Del Parga. Piotr Baron, Kuba Stankiewicz, Janusz Muniak, Adam Czerwiriski, Piotr Wojtasik, Kazimierz Jonkisz, Michat Tokaj, Herve Czak and Rozalia Ratkiewicz, Jimmy Wyble, Kenton Youngstrom, Eric von Essen, Daryl Vandruff, Isla Eckinger, Gloria and Dmitri Mamokhin, Riner Scivally, Scott Colley, Gerry Gibbs, Billy Childs, Joe LaBarbera, Magda, Jozef and Robert Augustyriski, James Newton, Kei Akagi, Sonship Theus, Michael Session, Brad Mehldau, Jorge Rossy, Ravi Coltrane, James Carney, Nathaniel Schleimer, Tony Garcia, Jamie Rosenn, Dorrance Stalvey, Gary Drysdale and many other musicians, fans and supporters. Last but certainly not least, we would like to thank Marek Winiarski for his continued interest in our music. — LA. Jazz Quartet, July 1998


The Los Angeles Jazz Quartet

performs original compositions that relate their 3rd album to family and close friends. As with most of modern mainstream acoustic jazz, the compositions are used as a basis from which the artists improvise. That they’ve been together for six years is evident from the manner in which each artist supports the others. Guitarist Larry Koonse lays down fluid lines that serve as a foundation for the unit’s harmony. His improvisations are equally fluid, but with detailed and spontaneous exposition. Tenor saxophonist Chuck Manning offers a gentle breathy approach at times to evoke certain moods; elsewhere he rips off featured solos that provide stark contrast. Bassist Darek Oles fills several roles, each of them quite lyrical. When walking the bass, taking a romantic solo, or laying down a syncopated riff, his work is always in tandem with the melody. Drummer Kevin Tullius fills in beside the others, comps accordingly for soloists, and stretches out during fours and other solo work.

Not Two Records is Marek Winiarski’s label, located in Krakow, Poland. Winiarski produced the LAJQ’s first album, Astarte, as well as this one. Their second album and upcoming fourth album are both on the NAXOS label. More information about the LAJQ may be found at http://www.naxosmusic.com/cat/86009.htm .

Engaging in group improvisation for “Briggs,” the quartet lights solemn fires. It’s a unique piece with equal input from the quartet’s four members. Also containing a fair amount of drama is “Resurgence,” an up-tempo piece in the hard bop idiom with off-kilter bass work. Manning and Koonse stretch out considerably. Four ballads emphasize the quartet’s penchant for melodic beauty: “Family Song,” “Winding Road,” in memory of bassist Eric von Essen, “Rachel and Sarah,” dedicated to Koonse’s young daughters, and “A Tear from New York.” Up-tempo swingers “The Honeymoon” and “Message from Roit” pick things up with a walking bass, ride cymbal, and foot tappin’ energy. Each artist pumps something extra into the formula: a subtle change in the harmony by guitar, a brief rudimentary snare drum fill, or a bass double-stop. The LAJQ is carrying on the tradition of classic acoustic mainstream jazz while incorporating original compositions and spontaneous thoughts.–  Jim Santella

 

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