Best of 2019 #22: Gerald Cleaver & Violet Hour – “Live at Firehouse 12”


In a modern jazz world where the forms of expression have become more varied and strange and untethered from the original sounds that marked the first giant steps of jazz, it’s a welcome experience to encounter a recording to remind us what got us all crazy about this music in the first place.  Gerald Cleaver’s live performance recording at Firehouse 12 with his Violet Hour ensemble swings like mad as it charges straight ahead.  The solos make you wish they’d never end except when the sextet comes back together and makes you wish for them to never part ways again.  The production is such that it brings the electricity of the live environment right into your home without any drop-off, and, yet, also leave you a bit jealous of those who were there to hear it in person.  This is Jazz today, this is Jazz as it ever was.

Your album personnel:  Gerald Cleaver (drums), J.D. Allen (tenor sax), Andrew Bishop (bass clarinet, soprano & tenor saxophones), Jeremy Pelt (trumpet), Ben Waltzer (piano), and Chris Lightcap (bass).

Released on Sunnyside Records.

Music from New York City.

I wrote about the album for The Bandcamp Daily.

Listen | Read more | Available at:  Bandcamp – Amazon