Mat Marucci-Doug Webb Trio with Kerry Kashiwagi
No Lesser Evil
It’s refreshing to hear jazz played without pretension. Seriously. Free-form solos so obtuse you can’t cut them with a Ginsu knife can be great, no doubt. But drummer Mat Marucci and saxophonist Doug Webb, along with Kerry Kashiwagi on bass, have made a contemporary-jazz CD that’s a pleasure to listen to, not just experience. Webb gets into some great Trane-like soloing, especially on a cover of Paul Desmond’s “Take Five.” And then there’s the Marucci original, “Blue Suspension,” which might easily have been at home on Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage. Not to say the music is derivative or that there isn’t some out-there stuff, like Webb’s solo on “Riff for Rusch” or Marucci’s on “Take Five.” But, overall, this is tame and tuneful, and that ain’t at all a bad thing.