Jeff Newell Quartet: Jack the Ripper
Jeff Newell blew into Chicago in the early '80s after completing college in Nebraska. I used to see him everywhere there was good music, his 6'5" frame made him and early standout even before his music was highly developed. One by one, he accumulated the best of credits playing and recording with many Chicago leaders, including Guy Fricano, Charles Earland and ten years with my nonet, Project 9. After receiving a Jazz Apprenticeship Grant from the NEA to study with Dave Liebman, Jeff's playing seemed to double—in nearly one year! A few years later Jeff re-located to NYC where is pursuing his craft, playing with everyone, with success.
Jack the Ripper documents some of his years in Chicago with his first quartet. The music is a combination of hard driving modern but lyrical jazz played over some of the greatest standards like Love for Sale, I'm Getting Sentimental Over You and a few originals. Best of all is the humor in Jeff's playing that also extends into his excellent arrangements. Tunes like There is No Greater Love and My Heart Belong to Daddy (with its dark and light side) receive magnificent original performances.
The overall sound of the quartet is heavily shaped by the solid work of Steve Million (piano), Larry Kohut (bass) and Rick Vitek (drums). You can tell that these guys played and rehearsed for many hours. Jeff's usually visits Chicago in the winter and summer. Go check him out and add this beautiful CD to your collection.
Available on the IGMOD label widely distributed in Chicago stores. Or contact Jeff Newell directly at (718) 624-3789).