By Herb Boyd | Published June 2019
Effortless balance and unison is achieved on Jim Snidero’s Waves Of Calm. From song to song—a neat mixture of evergreens and originals—Snidero’s alto saxophone finds an equilibrium with Jeremy Pelt’s trumpet or Orrin Evans’ keys. Clear and brilliant evidence of this can be found on “Truth,” where the altoist’s brief, economical lines correspond with Pelt’s longer elaborations.
This sharing of space continues on the timeless standard “Old Folks,” and the slow, deliberate feel of a lament here is repeated for several bars on “I Fall In Love Too Easily,” before Pelt peppers in a cluster of swift arpeggios. There is an alternating shift of moods on “Dad Song,” with exuberant statements from Pelt, as he romps on Snidero’s undulating, looping phrases. Although the song, like the album, imparts Snidero’s reflection on his father’s struggle with Parkinson’s disease, the group—with bassist Nat Reeves and drummer Jonathan Barber embroidering the horns’ unity—emits a lively, uplifting optimism.
“Visions” again features Snidero’s taut fragments and Pelt’s compelling exhortations, Barber echoing this spirited blend with his own tuneful explorations, providing yet another aspect of Snidero’s enduring salute to his father.
While a contemplative shadow hovers over the session, Snidero’s bouncy bits of bebop remind listeners again of balance and unison, as does the track “Estuary,” where Evans’ formidable Fender Rhodes chops are fully on display.
After a bell-like opening by the keyboardist on “Waves Of Calm,” Snidero offers a conversational tone, his horn restating and delivering a refined maturity, a sense of evenness that pervades the album. And the group’s take on “If I Had You”? Well, it’s simply lovely.
Waves Of Calm: Waves Of Calm; Truth; Old Folks; Visions; I Fall In Love Too Easily; Dad Song; If I Had You; Estuary. (48:15)
Personnel: Jim Snidero, alto saxophone; Jeremy Pelt, trumpet (2, 4, 6, 8); Orrin Evans, piano, Fender Rhodes; Nat Reeves, bass; Jonathan Barber, drums.