Jack Brandfield

I’ll Never Be The Same
(Gut String Records)

Here we have the young and amazingly talented tenor saxophonist Jack Brandfield taking us on a swinging trio journey with Randy Napoleon on guitar and Rodney Whitaker on bass. As a group, the three are a wonder of rhythm, time and musicality. Each solo aches of a melodic time gone by, when songs could be instrumental, hip and danceable all at the same time. For his part, Brandfield has a juicy, smooth tone on tenor. He knows how to coax just the right amount of purr from the horn, taking an old-school approach — one that’s reminiscent of his heroes Zoot Sims or Stan Getz — dressed up for the modern era. The lack of a drummer gives the group plenty of room to play with time and space, all the while keeping the proceedings right in the pocket. They roll through a set of a dozen classics that just leave you with a smile and an “Ah!” Especially tasty are the opening Jerome Kern chestnut “Nobody Else But Me,” a jumping take on “Lover Come Back To Me” and “On A Slow Boat To China.” In a very cool move, Brandfield and Whitaker glide as a duo through “Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me” in late-night, last-call mode. Napoleon and Brandfield do likewise on a tug-at-the-heart rendition of “Over The Rainbow.” All that said, perhaps the most impressive aspect of Brandfield’s artistry is this: He’s still in school, pursuing a graduate degree at the Frost School of Music at University of Miami. We’ll be seeing him in all the old familiar places, for sure.

On Sale Now
May 2021
Shabaka Hutchings
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