By Ed Enright | Published July 2018
Saxophonist Jerry Vivino demonstrates his wide range—geographically and instrumentally—on this swinging, straightahead album of original tunes and jazz standards.
Known as a sideman to stars (e.g., Tony Bennett, Dr. John, Lyle Lovett, Donald Fagen) and a longtime member of the house band for TV talk show host Conan O’Brien, Vivino has formed strong musical connections over the years in New York and Los Angeles. He recorded with players from both coastal regions during the sessions that ultimately became Coast To Coast, an album that showcases his chops and personality on tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, alto flute and voice.
Three tunes were cut with nonagenarian guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli during an easygoing East Coast quintet session that helped get this project underway. A second East Coast session yielded the jazz waltz “Miracles,” a tune Vivino co-wrote with his daughter Natalia Vivo and pianist Ken Levinsky. Back home in L.A., Vivino decided to embrace the coast-to-coast approach and recorded three more tracks, this time with pianist Andy Langham (who co-wrote two tunes), bassist John Leftwich, drummer Bernie Dresel and trumpeter Ron Stout (featured on two tracks).
Three pre-existing tracks—one from 2014 with L.A. pianist Mitchell Forman and bassist Kevin Axt, and two recorded in a quintet setting with the late New York trumpeter Lew Soloff circa 2007/’08—round out this highly enjoyable, finger-snapping collection of pocket grooves, boisterous improvisations and gorgeous ballads.