Keith Javors, and others
Recorded in June 2005, just two months after the death of 24-year-old saxophonist/composer Brendan Romaneck—who’d written eight of the 11 tunes and had booked both the musicians and the studio for what would have been his debut recording—producer/pianist Javors leads two separate groups through Romaneck’s intriguing charts. Tenorman Chris Potter is featured on the first six numbers and opens with a roaring rendition (a la Sonny Rollins) of “My Shining Hour” accompanied by just bass and drums. Romaneck, who studied at the University of North Florida with veteran saxophonist Bunky Green, has written some lovely tunes on which Potter (on tenor and soprano saxes) takes great risks. Javors provides solid underpinning throughout and takes marvelous solos to boot. As fascinating as Romaneck’s themes are—and the title track is especially compelling—I find myself drawn to the three standards here; the other two being a beautiful Javors-Potter duet on “Nancy With the Laughing Face” and Javors’ duet with soprano saxophonist Steve Wilson on “Killing Me Softly with His Song.” Wilson is joined by trumpeter Terell Stafford on the remaining four numbers and he’s especially effective on flugelhorn on “The Vibe.” With Wilson on alto and Stafford on trumpet they really rip on “11-02,” a fast blues reminiscent of the Jazz Messengers.