By Andrew Jones | Published February 2019
Veteran drummer-turned-pianist-turned-vibist Jorge Rossy’s Beyond Sunday is a slick and highly competent jazz album. And it’d be hard to find fault with contributions from players like drummer Al Foster and saxophonist Mark Turner when their attention turns to dynamic uptempo pieces, like the Rossy-composed “Joe’s Dream.” Turner’s bright sound and imaginative phrasing slide through and around the bouncing original.
Across Beyond Sunday, Foster administers an absolute clinic in swing. His drumming drives soloists, scaffolds ideas and holds court. “Sleepin’ In,” a Rossy original that sounds airlifted from 1950-something, opens with the drummer’s brushwork accompanying guitarist Jaume Llombart’s gentle soloing. Without spotlight-hogging, Foster sifts through rhythmic ideas and complex patterns so easily and quickly that his virtuosity easily could just go unnoticed.
The strength of Turner and Foster’s voices lend Beyond Sunday a batch of much-needed dynamism, as do Rossy’s memorable compositions that clearly intend to evoke past masters. It’s harder to pin down Rossy as a soloist, though, as he generally offers short, clipped lyrical phrases yielding few memorable moments.
A couple of slower numbers lack cohesion and focus, too: “Dusk” includes Rossy’s most melodically captivating solo, but wanders aimlessly, and “Cold” emphasizes atmospherics over melody, leaving performers clutching at straws.
When feeding off the steam generated by Foster or Turner, Beyond Sunday feels like something vital. Lacking those ingredients, it feels disposable.
Beyond Sunday: Beyond Sunday; Sativa; Kierra; Dusk; Joe’s Dream; Sleepin’ In; Cold; Trust?; Douglas; Introspection. (60:21)
Personnel: Jorge Rossy, vibraphone; Mark Turner, tenor saxophone; Jaume Llombart, guitar; Doug Weiss, bass; Al Foster, drums.