Roland plays his bass arco, with bow on a couple of the tunes and it cries out gloriously, on "Blue Madi" a tribute to the drummer Kalil Madi, you feel the emotion, the double bass sings as a cry of love. A classically tinged blues, communicating majestically from the low end with tastefully accompanied piano and drums, to open into a tenor saxophone salute of melodically whimsical statements that speak of wonderful cool bop explorations.
The song "Byars-a-Carpet" swings wildly with Chris Byars taking the lead and pushing the carpet ride through stops and starts and an intriguing arco intro by Roland. The tune builds in intensity with a wonderful piano interlude care of Sacha Perry, a Bud Powel like player with intense musical chops. The song returns to a Roland solo of magnificence with Phil Stewart providing great brush work in support while Perry hits the off coloured chords that fill out the foundation. The song ends after a tastefully simple drum fill by Stewart, a minimalist with a soft touch, intense swing and technically flawless style that plays it close to the vest and always in the pocket.
Sacha Perry’s contribution "Perry Plov" is a walking style blues with Perry’s piano played Forza. Strong, urgent chords are voiced with passion and fire, over a very cool melody that sings out brightly. Ari Roland takes a glorious bowed ride through about sixteen bars with a little help from Byars who adds a string like background to the magic. The tune builds in dynamics with the melody weaving in and out of intricate harmonies that sound fresh, new and exciting.
And so I lived in old New York has a traditional bebop feel to it with a mix of east and west coast jazz, some old world influences, some fresh new ideas, great playing, excitement, joy, passion, emotions of all different colours and plain old great listening musical experiences for sitting back and enjoying. The compositions are all original, they are excellent, they pay tribute to what came before but are a testament to what lies ahead.