The Lowdown

“I Should Care”

(Cellar Live/Reel To Real)

The culmination of a long friendship between saxophonists Cory Weeds and Ian Hendrickson-Smith, The Lowdown (Cellar Live/Reel to Real) captures the pair at the center of a cooking quintet on a solid set of straightahead jazz. Weeds, who runs the Cellar Live label, approached Hendrickson-Smith about recording a session at the famed Rudy Van Gelder studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, and he jumped at the chance. Seeking to re-create the conditions of some of the best-loved albums in jazz history, Hendrickson-Smith recorded the way Van Gelder did, sans isolation booths and headphones, in the process capturing the immediacy of the performances and the magic of the room’s high-ceilinged ambience. For the session, he rounded up New York City stalwarts John Webber and Joe Farnsworth, on bass and drums, respectively, and frequent colleague Rick Germanson on piano, and dived into a six-song set split between originals and standards. Among the latter is the Sammy Cahn staple “I Should Care,” which utilizes a breezily swinging David Hazeltine arrangement. The saxophones intertwine and trade off on emotionally rich solo statements, made all the more resonant by the excellent rhythm accompaniment. Hendrickson-Smith titled the album for his friend and colleague, drummer Lawrence “Lo” Leathers, who died in 2019.

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