Fortunate enough to be born in a suburb of Philadelphia and being able to be enriched by the “Philly jazz sound”, trumpeter Jon Crowley releases his debut album titled Connections.
While not copying the “Philly jazz sound,” Crowley and his Quintet with John Beaty on alto, Yayoi Ikawa on piano, Peter Schwebs on bass and Nick Anderson on drums do mold elements of it into their album and it works.
The title track “Connections” is a fine opener. This song allows everyone to show what they got. Crowley and Beaty, follow each other then Beaty takes off on his own flight. Up beat drumming by Anderson and piano by Ikawa hold the song together.
After an abrupt end, the quintet shifts into “Momentum.” A slower paced song, this allows Crowley to really speak. Great bass work by Peter Schwebs which leads into a one minute introduction for the song “Tabula Rasa” which is an up tempo, almost “New York” sounding song. As much as this is the Jon Crowley Quintet, altoist John Beaty gets to say his own thing throughout most of the songs.
Speaking of Philadelphia and New York, “City Mood” could capture the essence of big city life. The hustle and bustle of Nick Anderson and his drums really gives the song somewhat big cities feel. Partnered up with bassist Schwebs, “City Mood” could be the song that really connects people to the music and the Quintet.
The Jon Crowley Quintet has released an easy-going jazz album. One person does not dominate over the other. This is an example of how a quintet album could or should sound. The connections have been made.