|Jeff Hackworth – Night Owl|
New York City based tenor saxophonist Jeff Hackworth has released “Night Owl” on Big Bridge Music. Hackworth’s two previous CDs (How Little We Know and Where the Blue Begins) featured him with a piano trio. “Night Owl” features Hackworth again on tenor, however he is joined by Jay Hoggard, vibraphone; Radam Schwartz, organ and Earl Grice on drums.
From the onset it is clear that Jeff Hackworth possesses a BIG tenor sound. According to the liner notes, “Hackworth keeps alive the soulful tenor tradition of such historic greats as Gene Ammons, David “Fathead” Newman, Stanley Turrentine and the still active Houston Person. But rather than just duplicate the past, Hackworth invigorates the music with his own personal sound and modern ideas.”
The pairing of vibes and organ alongside the tenor saxophone is a unique sound. Adequate space is allowed for both Hoggard and Schwartz to solo, however the ear seems drawn to the more traditional sound of the organ trio.
Among the first few cuts on “Night Owl” my favorite is the shuffle Love Me Two Times. It is clear from this cut alone how Hackworth has found success touring and performing with the likes of Chubby Checker and Matt “Guitar” Murphy. Hackworth plays a hard-swinging, shuffle-infused ride, followed by an equally impressive chorus by Schwartz on organ.
Quite a contrast to the former is the pairing of Hoggard's vibes and Hackworth’s subdued tenor on the ballad Little Blue and medium-slow title track Night Owl. Hackworth’s two-year stint with Buddy Morrow and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra surely must have made the most of this side of his playing.
Sideswipe seems a combination of influences from the groove of the Lee Morgan classic Sidewinder to some melodic hints at Horace’s Silver’s Song For My Father. As with Love Me Two Times, it is this down and dirty tenor sax playing which suits Hackworth best – at least for this listener. I couldn’t stop my legs from moving while trying to sit and listen to this one!
The remainder of the CD includes a variety of styles. On the brisk-paced That Lucky Old Sun, drummer Earl Grice gets a chance to trade with the rest of the band. We Kiss In A Shadow features Hackworth in the ballad setting once again. Lastly, the happy and spirited swinger You’d Better Love Me closes out the proverbial 3rd set for Jeff Hackworth’s called “Night Owl.”
Thanks to Jeff Hackworth for sharing this with SaxShed.com.
You can find out more about Jeff Hackworth at jeffhackworth.com
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