Just Like Old Times
Just Like Old Times is Jazz Drummer and Composer Jerry Kalaf's Third CD as a leader. Collaborating with arranger Doug Walter, this recording features the trio of pianist Rich Ruttenberg, Bassist Tom Warrington and Drummer Jerry Kalaf performing eight of Jerry's compositions with a string orchestra. The arrangements challenge and inspire the trio and the results show the two sides of Jazz Composition: the interpretation of the written note and the improvising musician's response to it. Jerry's Jazz credits include performances and tours with Eddie Harris, Gary Burton, Gary Foster, Frank Strazzeri, Bill Mays, Bill Perkins, Jimmy Cleveland, The Pointer Sisters and Major Holley. Jerry has toured Europe, Asia, South America and the United States as musical director of the Jazz Tap Ensemble with performances in 2005 at the Playboy Jazz festival in Los Angeles, Salzburg Jazz festival in Salzburg Austria and the Joyce Theatre in NYC. As a studio musician in Los Angeles, Jerry has been involved in scoring sessions for film and television, both as a player and as a composer. Jerry is also a recipient of a 'Meet The Composer/California' grant funded by the National Endowment For The Arts and the California Arts Council. He continues to write and record his original compositions. Drummer Jerry Kalaf has put together an extremely tasteful record that makes the rare juxtaposition of strings and piano trio. Reminscent of Phineas Newborn's "While My Lady Sleeps", this release is in fact superior in that Kalaf's timekeeping and drumming keeps the music moving forward, leading without being overpowering. Likewise, the strings, arranged to perfection by Doug Walter, are perfectly framed, never overbearing and used most often as lighting to highlight the interplay between Kalaf, Tom Warrington (bass) and Rich Ruttenberg (piano). At times the strings are used to create a dramatic contrast, as in "Monk and Mingus", where the bass and piano jab in and out of the minor chords. At other times, like cirrus clouds, they float ovet the crisp and succinct piano and drum work, as in "Like it Never Happened." Throughout the entire CD, the trio's interplay is sympathetic, intimate and communicative. This is a disc that will take repeated listenings to fully appreciate on many different levels. -George W. Harris.