Be With Me
As he mentions in the liner notes to his self-released album Be With Me, drummer-composer-arranger Matt Gordy originally intended to title his new collection Dedications. After all, the Los Angeles-based musician tips a cap to many influential artists, including Count Basie, Mulgrew Miller, Mal Waldron and Oscar Peterson, to name a few. Gordy made the move from his longtime base of Boston to L.A. more than 15 years ago. He’s since established himself as a go-to player on the Left Coast jazz scene, from whence he culled the Jazz Tonite Sextet that accompanies him on Be With Me. The album title on which he settled comes from one of his compositions, which is based on the chord changes to Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You,” and embraces all the people who’ve encouraged him over the years (including his brother, Roger, who died last year). Named for its forward momentum and punning on the Daylight Savings Time mantra, the track “Spring Ahead” is a contrefact of Chick Corea’s “Spain,” featuring Gordy’s new melody unfolding over Corea’s chord changes. Saxophonist Jeff Ellwood, trombonist Ido Meshulam and trumpet/flugelhorn player Ron Stout comprise the lively horn section, blowing over the brisk rhythms provided by pianist Alan Pasqua, bassist Chris Colangelo and Gordy. Compelling solos by Ellwood, Stout and Pasqua precede the ensemble’s soaring finish, ending on an up note that recalls the positivity of the late Corea.