The Bridge Quartet is another of the many fine groups to have started in the Pacific Northwest.
Drummer Alan Jones, a Portland, Ore., native, has been involved with several other excellent combos over the years, and he was the catalyst for this organization. He's joined by Canadian saxophonist Phil Dwyer; bassist Tom Wakeling; and pianist Darrell Grant, another Portland mainstay.
These guys hooked up over a weekend, planning to play a club date and then make a studio album the following week. Scheduling problems made it necessary to move the recording session to the day after the first club date, which ended at 1 a.m. They then raced to the studio, recorded this album - hence the title, "Day" - and then it was back to the club for that
The second live session also was recorded, so we have another album ("Night") to anticipate.
Everything took place in just 32 hours, but the result is a smooth and swingin' debut album.
It has eight tracks; two are originals - one by Jones, the other by Dwyer - and the others include covers of some wonderful old standards ("Wouldn't It Be Loverly" and "Where or When"), two jazz standards (Miles Davis' "Milestones" and Sonny Rollins' "Strode Rode") and two lesser-known ballads.
All are nicely arranged and performed, and Grant's work is particularly noteworthy. Dwyer's sax is an interesting combination of quiet, richly toned passages and tasty, more frenetic lines that retain a Stan Getz/Ted Nash sound. Jones and Wakeling keep the beat moving nicely throughout.
I look forward to additional releases from this group.