CD REVIEW: Andy Fusco- Joy-Riding

Andy Fusco – Joy-Riding
(Steeplechase SCCD31381. CD review by Frank Griffith)

Veteran NYC altoist Andy Fusco returns to the Steeplechase label, and the result is Joy-Riding, a post hard bop date with a good mix of originals and classic jazz anthems. Having done long stints with the likes of drummers Buddy Rich and Steve Smith’s Vital Information, Fusco has also appeared and recorded with Don Sebesky and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. His sidemen include tenorist and composer Walt Weiskopf, and his younger brother, pianist Joel Weiskopf. Louisville-born and bred  drummer Jason Tieman, and bassist Mike Karn complete the sterling rhythm section.

A first class date by all hands, indeed, with Fusco keeping the spirits of Jackie and Charles Mac (McClean and McPherson) thriving well into the millenium. Andy’s rich and liquid sound is imbued with a snakelike bendy-ness in his phrasing that is unique and endearingly warm and comforting to boot. Dig his reading of Hoagy Carmichael’s Skylark with his moist melodicism coupled with his biting rhythmic acuity on Walt Weiskopf’s Joy-Riding, spelling out long and serpentine lines for evidence of this.

A top mod bop date indeed that will elate and please listeners from many different camps.

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