Roxy Coss Restless Idealism (Origin)
JAZZIZ On Disc (Disc Two)
Plaudits and plum assignments are nothing new to saxophonist Roxy Coss. The New York City-based musician, who graduated Magna Cum Laude from William Paterson University in 2008, has earned coveted space with the Mingus Big Band and The Diva Jazz Orchestra and was a member in good standing of trumpeter Jeremy Pelt’s group. Fronting her own band, she held down a weekly residency at Smoke for a couple of years. None of this escaped the notice of jazz cognoscenti, and Coss was voted Rising Star on soprano saxophone in the DownBeat Critics’ Poll for the past two years. Her sophomore recording, Restless Idealism (Origin), lives up to the praise, offering a muscular blend of hard bop and ballads. Switching between tenor and soprano saxes, she’s up for it all. Coss’ compositions never fail to swing, and she infuses much of the music with blues flavor. Assisting her in that regard, a top-shelf ensemble features former employer Pelt, pianist Chris Pattishall, guitarist Alex Wintz, bassist Dezron Douglas and drummer Willie Jones III. Pelt and Wintz lay out on the opening “Don’t Cross the Coss,” included here, while Coss interacts with her dynamic rhythm section. A lyrical statement of purpose, it’s a toe-tapping tenor tour-de-force, with solos from Pattishall and Jones further upping the excitement level.