Thursday, January 8, 2009

Jonathan Voltzok: More to Come

Kol Yo Records
By Ric Bang • Originally published in The Davis Enterprise, 1.8.09
Buy CD: More to Come

Speaking of Israeli-born musicians, trombonist Jonathan Voltzok is another recent arrival on the jazz scene. He lived and was schooled in Israel until his 21st birthday, and then moved to New York City in 2004, after receiving a scholarship from the New School's jazz program.

The NYC musicians quickly recognized his ability; Voltzok soon was working with the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Band, Slide Hampton's Trombone All Stars and Jimmy Heath's Big Band, and has shared the stage with James Moody, Roy Hargrove and Randy Brecker.

Voltzok is a bebop stylist; he evokes the early J.J. Johnson.

Voltzok's basic quartet includes three NYC-based artists: pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Barak Mori and drummer Ali Jackson. For this album, he added guest stars Slide Hampton (trombone) and Antonio Hart (alto sax).

Five of these nine tracks are Voltzok originals; the remaining four are covers of tunes written by Dizzy Gillespie (“Con Alma”), Thelonious Monk (“ 'Round Midnight”), Horace Silver (“Opus de Funk”) and Charlie Parker (“ 'Shaw 'Nuff”).

Voltzok's opening tune (“More To Come”) is a real burner, based on the chord changes of “Avalon”; it, and most of his compositions, are mid- to up-tempo arrangements that provide ample opportunity to sample his excellent command of his horn.

Hampton joins him on “Con Alma” and “ 'Shaw 'Nuff,” and their trombone duo work is outstanding. Hart's alto sax contributes nicely on two other tracks.

Trombone addicts and bop fans will enjoy this release.

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