Personnel: Bruce Eskovitz (saxophone); Ernie Watts (tenor saxophone); Charlie Shoemake (vibraphone); Bill Mays (piano); Ray Drummond (bass); Larance Marable (drums).
ONE FOR THE NEWK is a tribute to Sonny Rollins.
Personnel: Ernie Watts (tenor saxophone); Bill Mays (piano); Charlie Shoemake (vibraphone); Larance Marable (drums).
Recording information: Pacifica Studio, Los Angeles, CA (11/18/1993-??/??/2008); Trax Studios, Hollywood, CA (11/18/1993-??/??/2008).
Author: Scott Yanow.
This is a record that all lovers of bebop have to get. Tenor saxophonist Bruce Eskovitz has a fat tone and a hard-driving style that is most reminiscent of Don Menza and Lew Tabackin, making him a perfect person to record a tribute to Sonny Rollins. If he sounded exactly like Newk this set would not be all that effective, since there is no reason to hear an imitation when the original is also quite prominent on record. But by paying homage to Rollins without directly copying him, Eskovitz has put together a very enjoyable set. With the exception of "Poor Butterfly" and "Count Your Blessings," all ten numbers are Rollins compositions. Eskovitz is greatly assisted by pianist Bill Mays, vibraphonist Charlie Shoemake, bassist Ray Drummond, and drummer Larance Marable on such numbers as "No Moe,""Airegin,""Valse Hot,""Strode Rode," and "Pent-Up House." As intense as some of the jam session-style performances are, it is the final number that is the most passionate, for "Tenor Madness" is a ten-minute blowout with guest Ernie Watts challenging (but not overwhelming) Eskovitz. Highly recommended. ~ Scott Yanow