Giacomo Gates

Centerpiece

origin 82428



MUSIC REVIEW BY Jazz Society of Oregon, Jazz Scene

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Thespirit of the joyous, scat singing, bebop giant Eddie Jefferson is clearly present in the work of Giacomo Gates. This, his third album, easily measures up to the first two, and maybe even surpasses them. Part of the reason is the presence of a very swinging group backing the singer. The basic trio of Harold Danko, piano; Ray Drummond, bass and Greg Bandy, drums, is augmented on several tunes by Vincent Herring, alto sax and Vic Juris, guitar. Gates is a throwback in that he totally worships at the shrine of classic bebop, and if you think about it, he's nearly a school of one in that category. Hence it's no surprise that his choice of tunes includes such bop staples as Lady Bird, Milestones, Lester Leaps In and a medley of How High The Moon and its offshoot, Ornithology, as well as the title tune, Centerpiece. He surrounds these jazz classics with energetic standards like All Of Me, Summertime, Route 66, Scotch And Soda and You'd Be So Nice To Come To, the latter tune complete with a vocal imitation of a trombone on the solo. How many guys can pull that off? A highlight for me was the rarely heard I Told You I Love You Now Get Out, featuring a driving scat display. But Gates is on target throughout this session with a high spirited delivery of lyrics and scatting in the best of the tradition. I heard him in person a few years back at the (then) Red Lion downtown. I thought he was something unique and special then. I've never wavered in that opinion. *****








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