COOL BOP! Kazzrie Jaxen Quartet: Callicoon Sessions, Quaternity

Here are a couple releases, one studio, one in concert, from a hip quartet lead by pianist Kazzrie Jaxen. Her team consists of Charley Krachy/ts, Don Messina/b and Bill Chattin/dr, and lemme tell ya, I wanna see them in concert!

Tenor saxist Krachy must take his Prez pills every morning, because he’s got a breathy and lithe tone that evokes smoky images of Lester Young, and it’s addicting. He swoons on concert pieces such as “All The Things You Are” and sighs on “She’s Funny That Way.” Meanwhile, Jaxen is solid and yet artsy on the piano, sometimes throwing curve balls and changeups as on the playful “When You’re Smilin’” and showing her influence from Lennie Tristano on that piece, but also on the more obvious “Lennie’s Pennies”  which has the sax and piano slither like Little Egypt. There’s a take of “All of Me” that has vocals, but it doesn’t matter as Krachy’s tenor is all you need to get by. Artsy and atmospheric jazz at its best. I want more!

The studio date spotlights Jaxen’s playfulness a bit more, as throws in some tricky chords that go from hot to cool on “What is This Thing Called Love?’ and brings a feisty undercurrent to “My Melancholy Baby.” Krachy is still rolling in like a London fog with long and lonesome tones on “My Foolish Heart.” The rhythm team is adroit and 50s West Coast Cool hep, with Messina doing a nice little handball tournament with Kracy on “Callicoon.” As classic in its style as a Mozart Symphony.


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