Ira Sullivan & Stu Katz

A Family Affair - Live at Joe Segal's Jazz Showcase

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MUSIC REVIEW BY David Franklin, Cadence

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Ira Sullivan was 79 years old when this live session was recorded and Stu Katz was in his early seventies. You'd never know it. They both play with the verve and skill of much younger men. And although Sullivan has had a long career as a musician, Katz has spent his professional life as an attorney. But, again, you would not be able to tell it from his fine playing on this album. Veteran performers Dennis Carroll on bass and George Fludas on drums, along with the younger Dan Trudell on piano, constitute the rest of this excellent quintet that was put together at the instigation of Katz's son Steve, who plays bass on one track with no let down. The two leaders had played together off and on for 57 years, and Steve thought it would be a good idea for them finally to record with each other. Since the Jazz Showcase was where they first met up, it was chosen for the venue.

It doesn't matter which of his several instruments he's playing at any given time, Sullivan plays it consummately. And he has Bebop chops to spare. On "Gee, Matthew," based on the chords to "Body and Soul," he inserts a bit of Charlie Parker's "Now's the Time" and follows it with a burst of lightning-fast Bird-like phrasing. Katz also speaks the Bebop language fluently. Engineer Steve Wiese's wife, Lucia Newell, an experienced singer, sat in on an up-tempo "Yesterdays" and swung the song's lyrics as well as her own made up ones with a fine jazz voice and impressive pitch and harmonic accuracy.






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