Rich Corpolongo Trio

Get Happy

BY Glen HallPublished Jul 19, 2010

The album title gives appropriate orientation: these guys sound like they're having fun and listeners will too. Tenor saxist Rich Corpolongo has been a fixture on the Chicago scene for years and has contributed deeply to the city's jazz culture. On this nine-track CD, he, bassist Dan Shapera and drummer Rusty Jones display a relaxed rapport that facilitates an easy in-and-out movement between straight-ahead chordal improvisation and freer playing that always remains melodic and accessible. A mix of standards and bebop is the trio's modus operandi. Tunes like Bird's "Chi Chi," delivered at a comfortable mid-tempo, and "Body and Soul," played a tad faster than usual, all sound warm and user-friendly. Echoes of Sonny Rollins' trio work are everywhere, especially in the staccato phrases. Coming from a city that spawned tenor greats like Joe Daley and Von Freeman, Corpolongo upholds a noble musical tradition. His Get Happy delivers on the promise of its title.

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