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Michael's Jazz Quartet: Woody-n-Me

It's always fun to discover little musical gems right from within your own local neighborhood, which is what recently happened to myself while visiting The Brewery at Orange County Hops in Walden, NY and meeting owner Michael Antonelli. Not only is he the owner of a very fine beer establishment, but Antonelli is also a retired music teacher and one hell of a saxophone player. Woody-n-Me is a CD he recorded and released with his Quartet back in 2008, and features 11 original compositions either written solely by Michael himself or co-composed with guitarist Kevin Golden. Also appearing with these two are bassist Peter Nobile and drummer Tim Hermann.

If you like contemporary jazz with a healthy dose of bebop & swing, you'll be right at home here on Woody-n-Me. Most of the tracks have bright, energetic melodies that are quite memorable, and leave plenty of room for soaring solos from all the participants. "V.C. Blues" sees the leader as well as Golden launching into tasty excursions, while other tunes such as "Golden Opportunity", "Well You Should", and the absolutely irresistible, groove laden "Bossa Que Passa" contain some of the most addicting melodies I've heard in modern jazz in quite some time. These guys aren't about tranquil soundscapes and brooding atmosphere like you hear on a lot of European jazz albums of late, instead their music swings, boils, and bounces, the catchy hooks just as impressive as the musical chops. And, it doesn't get much better than the quirky title cut, a charming romp led by Antonelli's classy sax melody and some gymnastic runs from the always nimble Golden.

Some jazz ensembles like to present themselves in a very 'serious' tone, which is all fine and dandy when you are looking for something gut wrenchingly emotional to listen to, but every so often the world needs a fun & uplifting jazz affair, which Woody-n-Me most certainly is. Nice job!!

Track Listing
1) Golden Opportunity
2) Well You Should
3) Only For You
4) Bossa Que Passa
5) Woody-n-Me
6) Waltz for Lefty
7) Before You Walk Away
8) Tell Me Now
9) V.C. Blues
10) Spring Feathers
11) Three Halves

Added: August 27th 2018
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Album @ CD Baby
Hits: 573
Language: english

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