“…there’s not a single track that doesn’t hold my interest and earn my appreciation. …what good, straight ahead jazz can and should be.
— “Shaun Dale, JazzReview.com
“That’s Jazz with a capital ‘J’!”
— Mike Smith, SkyJazz Internet Radio
“This is a fun album created with much gusto and flair and a worthy addition to your record collection. — Jazz Site Rating – 10 outa 10”
— Wes Gillespie, The Jazz Site
JCQ features eight original compositions; seven written by Jim, and one written by Phil. Three standards add to the mix of style and feel offered on the recording.
In their debut album, the group wanted to preserve as much of the energy and freedom of their live performances as possible. The album kicks things off with The Emperor, a hard driving, up tempo original by Jim. This piece introduces the listener to the style of the group, and sets the tone of the album; find a groove, and build on it.
Awakenings is a driving samba which showcases Chris’ latin percussion skills. Following Awakenings, the standard Just Friends offers a chance to sit back and enjoy some straight ahead jazz stylings. The feel changes quite a bit with Prasek’s Lament; this soulful ballad explores several different moods, highlighted by Brian’s expressive piano solo. The ballad gives way to Keep Off the Grass, a latin/fusion mix, which features Phil on the fretless electric bass guitar and gives each member of the group a chance to stretch out.
Another of Jim’s originals, Picking Things Up, gets things back to straight ahead jazz, swinging from start to finish. Lee Morgan’s Ceora, a relaxing bossa nova backs the pace off a bit, and Clifford Brown’s Joy Spring gets a unique treatment. The up tempo Autumn Mist takes the groove back to a jazz samba, with flurrying displays from each of the soloists.
Waiting, an original by Phil, offers another refreshing break from the driving nature of the album, and gives Jim a chance to break out his soprano sax. The album concludes with Throw Me a Bone, a frenetic minor blues that takes the album home.
- Jim Cutler (Saxophones)
- Brian Olendorf (Piano)
- Philip Demaree (Bass)
- Chris Monroe (Drums)
- Producers: Jim Cutler & Dave Pascal
- Recording Engineer: Masa Fukudome
- Recorded at: Triad Studios, 2002
- Edited and Mixed by: Dave Pascal
- Mastered by: Rick Fisher, RFI Mastering