Ernie Krivda: Requiem for a Jazz Lady
Ernie Krivda on Tenor Saxophone
Lafayette Carthon on Piano
Marion Hayden on Bass
Renell Gonsalves on Drums
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 22, 2016
This CD is a selection of original compositions by tenor saxophonist, Ernie Krivda, with generous accompaniments for pianist, Lafayette Carthon, bassist, Marion Hayden, and drummer, Renell Gonsalves. A standard, “I’ll Close My Eyes”, by Buddy Kaye and Billy Reid, is included. Krivda’s liner notes poignantly pay homage to the legacy of jazz in Cleveland, Ohio, Krivda’s hometown. The notes also share inspirations for each of the seven tracks, as well as complimentary comments on each musician on the recording. It’s immediately clear that Mr. Krivda is a thoughtful, contemplative, and dedicated composer and instrumentalist. Each of the seven tracks has its own vibe, bluesy, sassy, or upbeat. I recommend this album to all those looking for fine, original jazz, performed by a seasoned quartet.
#2 – I’ll Close My Eyes – Composed by Buddy Kaye/Billy Reid. This standard opens with Carthon’s melancholy piano, in tuneful waterfalls of notes. Krivda enters on sax, barely taking a breath, carrying the lovely melody almost throughout the track, while the bass plays fragments of the sax’s moody phrases. Soon Carthon is featured again, illuminating the theme, accompanied by Hayden’s bass and Gonsalves’ soft brushes. The piece ends with Krivda’s winding final notes, heard mostly a cappella, then fused with the band.
#4 – Emerald – Composed by Ernie Krivda. The introduction to this original tune spotlights the piano, before the lush, lilting sax infuses upbeat echoes. Soon Krivda’s tenor sax soars into an urban range, lyrical and soulful. The piano carries the sophisticated theme with dervish speed, before an a cappella bass interlude deepens the mood. “Emerald” ends in blended, three-note echoes that expand in the moment.
#5 – Great Lakes Gumbo – Composed by Ernie Krivda. This swinging, rhythmic track opens with bass and piano, followed by a swaying, soaring sax, as if the band were marching us down to Bourbon Street. The tempos mix like the title’s gumbo. Blues and sass merge, as the piano adds pulse in its meandering solo, before the energized drums add flash to the finale.
#7 – Requiem for a Jazz Lady – Composed by Ernie Krivda. Krivda’s storytelling theme is evocative of the Black Dahlia, he notes, and his saxophone certainly draws us in, like a retro, mysterious tale. The tenor sax is showcased throughout, after an inviting passage of fused bass, drums, and keys. A midnight bluesy club is evoked, and all that’s missing is the cognac in candlelight. The warmth of this music resonates.