By Ed Enright | Published January 2019
Trumpeter Victor Garcia established himself years ago among the top jazz soloists, section players, composers, arrangers and educators on the Chicago scene. On his long-awaited debut as a leader, Garcia gets right down to the serious business of playing highly accessible, all-original music with several Windy City colleagues who are heavy-hitters in their own right.
Dan Trudell’s B-3 serves as the central axis of The Grind/The Groove, drawing from the deep well of jazz-organ tradition and serving up sublime bass lines that support and encourage the superb contributions of Garcia, alto saxophonist Greg Ward, tenor saxophonist Rocky Yera, trombonist Tom Garling, guitarist Scott Hesse and drummer Charles Heath. Over the course of 10 tracks, Garcia and the gang explore a range of styles and moods that are sure to resonate with fans of straightahead modern jazz. Dig the bluesy soul of “Zugzwang-a-Lang,” the bittersweet “Farewell, My Love,” the shifty agitation of “Confined Within,” the greasy, rockin’ funk of “Whatcha Talkin’ Bout?,” the delicately brushed waltz “Izzy’s Lullaby,” the hard-bopping “Delightful Chaos,” the lightly swinging “Blues On A Sunny Day” and the hip-hopping, second-line insistence of “Gon’ Be Alright.” Exhilarating solo turns abound throughout the program, and the smartly arranged tutti and counterpoint ensemble passages (tightly voiced for four horns) are executed with flair and precision. The writing, the playing, the grind and the groove all coalesce into one fine body of work on this auspicious leader debut from one of Chicago’s most exciting and hard-working young artists.