Drye & Drye, “Open Letter” (CD review)

drye(originally published in JazzTimes)

Drye & Drye, “Open Letter” (NCM Records)

Refreshing concept, smartly executed: Brooklyn-based trombonist Brian Drye and his father, baritone saxophonist Howard Drye (both hail from Rhode Island), team up for a double-album featuring original compositions honoring their various influences. The horns are the thing, with the two joined by trumpeter Jeff Hermanson and clarinetist, alto and soprano saxophonist Mike McGinnis, and the piano-less rhythm section of bassist Dan Fabricatore and drummer Vinnie Sperrazza.

Rich sonorities and engaging themes characterize these 10 tracks, with highlights of the first disc (Howard’s pieces) including the soprano-led soul-jazz groove tune “Precious Silver,” dedicated to Horace Silver; the slinky ballad “The Empty Chair,” for Johnny Hodges; and jaunty opener “Blues for Jimmy.”

On disc two (Brian’s tunes), “Elbows,” for Monk, is all sharp angles and quirky twists, and offers plenty of space for the trombonist’s rangy, invigorating solo. Also notable: Brian’s moody, color-shifting “April 1st, 1910,” dedicated to Harry Carney, and bouncy bop burner “Home Brew.”

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