****RINGER OF THE WEEK****Roxy Coss: Restless Idealism

Am I a sexist, or is it just that I have two daughters about Roxy Coss’ age? I first look at the cover of this album and I think, “Any lady that wears a suit like that is either appealing to the wimpy smooth jazz crowd or (no pun intended) covering up for a lack of chops.” Boy, did I get a wrong number!

After listening to this Bunsen burner of a disc, I had to do a little research on her. She’s done work with Jeremy Pelt (no wonder he’s on this album) as well as vocalist Gillian Margot and the band DIVA. Ok, I’m feeling better about this.

On this album, along with Pelt, she’s got Alex Wintz/g, Chris Pattishall/p, Dezron Douglas/b and Willie Jones III/dr and if you can keep up with Jones, you’ve really got my attention. She wrote everything here, and she’s got the heart of a swinging bopper. Even better, she has a tone in the school of Ben Webster and Don Byas with just a hint of Coltrane to appease the headbangers out there. Her sound is as warm as the sunrise as she does a rapid line run with Wintz on the hip “Don’t Cross the Coss” and bounce together on the bluesy “Tricky.” She goes easy on the indigo’ed on “Waiting” while Jones’ crisp drumming sizzles along with Pelt and Coss on snappers like “Push.” On soprano, Douglass’ bass line leads the charge for the front line on “Breaking Point” and the head spins on the post bop ESP-era’d “Recurring Dream.”

Her vibrato is rich and velvety, you just don’t want her to stop playing on ballads such as “Happiness is a Choice” or the moody “Perspective.” I didn’t think anyone under 50 played like this anymore! Forget this lady’s dress code-dig the message!

Origin Records


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