Hard-Bop is alive and well, and the Ron Pirtle Quintet is living proof. Gettin' in the Groove is the real deal. Ron and the band have certainly spent countless hours getting these tunes tight, and the result is pure excitement.
Ron Pirtle leads this band from behind his upright bass. He plays with such enthusiasm and furry, that one never has to ask "where's the one ?". Ron is the hardest working bass player I have seen in a long time, and a favorite to the folks that are lucky enough to catch these guys play out.
Carl Hendrix, the senior member of this band has added a sense of professionalism and credibility to the otherwise younger members of the quintet. His playing is pure enjoyment. Stan Soloko has become my favorite local drummer. His timing is rock solid, and his solo's are always imaginative, he is a real pro. Paul Polanski and Brad Baker - what a team - these guys really blow. So if you are not a fan of bop, this is the killer compliment. The liner notes, written by Jack Simpson, say it all about these two - "we used to say it about Al and Zoot, Sonny and Gene, Jaws and Griff, 'these guys have played together before!' ".
Recorded Live at WUCF's Broadcast Studios in Orlando Florida, November 2002, engineer John Marsden has captured the full impact of this explosive band's delivery. The CD is as enjoyable at low volumes as when played with the dial pushed way high. Great job John.
Composed of mostly covers, or shall we say timeless classics, the band pays homage to Sonny Stitt, Dizzy Gillespie, Horace Silver, Duke Ellington, and others. Track 6, an original of piano great Carl Hendrix, really gives room for some swinging groove music that would have been a standard had it been recorded in the day. The selections on the recording demonstrate the bands range.
This is a great recording, which any jazz aficionado will play on heavy rotation. Ron has some .mp3 tidbits on his website. I am high on this one for a reason, go and see for yourself.