“Swing”

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A founding member of the contemporary-jazz powerhouse Yellowjackets, bassist Jimmy Haslip continues to find intriguing avenues of expression since leaving the band more than a decade ago. On his latest release, ARCecology: The Music of MSM Schmidt (Blue Canoe), Haslip and his ARC Trio team up with The John Daversa Big Band on a program of tunes by German-based keyboardist and composer Michael Schmidt. Trumpeter Daversa, who chairs Studio Music and Jazz at the Frost School of Music in Miami, provides sweep and color via his mighty South Florida ensemble, while high-octane guest stars — guitarist Steve Khan, saxophonist Seamus Blake and Hammond organ wizard Brian Auger among them — bring additional firepower. Haslip and ARC trio mates Scott Kinsey and Gergö Borlai, on keyboards and drums respectively, hold the center, as they navigate the variety of styles within Schmidt’s songbook. The self-explanatory “Swing,” our selection, swaggers with swing-era muscle even as it sounds wholly contemporary, thanks to Haslip’s growling electric bass lines, Kinsey’s fiery keyboards and a dynamic, rhythmic arrangement, which makes room for exciting solos by Blake and Daversa. If the song puts you in mind of Jaco Pastorius’ Word of Mouth big band, that’s no accident: Jaco was an enormous influence on Haslip.

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