[9 January 2014]
Legendary jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd may be 78 years young, but he hasn’t lost a beat as a vibrant musician. On the consistent and enjoyable Trombone for Lovers, Rudd – “with a little help from ... friends” – covers songs that are meaningful to him encompassing various genres. On “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”, Rudd and partner in crime Steven Bernstein (slide trumpet) interpret the Loesser vocal classic in dramatic fashion, accompanied by a churchy B3, compliments of John Medeski.
Guest vocalist Fay Victor steals the show on the bluesy “Trouble in Mind”, with the rhythm section soundly backing her. On “Green Onions”, Rudd and company let loose, with the acclaimed soul tune easily lending itself to jazz. Later, Rudd liberally approaches Duke Ellington’s “Come Sunday”, adventurously changing styles, and breathing new life into the timeless classic. Track after track, Rudd’s musicianship and sharpness impresses, making Trombone for Lovers shine radiantly.