About the Album
Featuring a wide array of elegantly developed, exciting, and totally swinging jazz, the Verve Jazz Ensemble has burst onto the national jazz scene. The VJE’s It’s About Time soared to #5 in the US on the JazzWeek charts, and was a top 20 US jazz album for two straight months. Led by Verve Jazz Ensemble drummer and arranger Josh Feldstein — and supported by tenor saxophonist / arranger Jon Blanck, trumpeter Tatum Greenblatt, pianist Matt Oestreicher, and bassist Chris DeAngelis — It’s About Time delivers reinterpreted Bebop standards (Lady Bird, Boplicity, and Jordu), a dynamic big band reduction (“Big Swing Face”), and two distinctive treatments of well-loved jazz classics (Henry Mancini’s “The Days of Wine and Roses,” and Oscar Hammerstein’s “Softly as in a Morning Sunrise”) in the unique voice that is the Verve Jazz Ensemble. Thrilling listeners both new to jazz and steeped in the tradition, the VJE definitively projects its deeply integrated musical art, served up with great style and passion. And, man, does this group live in the pocket!
Out in front on It’s About Time are tenor saxophonist Jon Blanck and trumpeter Tatum Greenblatt. Jon brings his soulful, driving, yet ever-sensitive approach on every tune (many of which he co-arranged with Josh), linking with Tatum’s trumpet to generate a warm blend of dynamic jazz.
Tatum’s crystal-clear trumpet voice lends a bluesy edge throughout, showcasing his rich jazz roots set on a contemporary platform and vision. Behind Jon and Tatum, the group’s rhythm section creates a solid and highly flexible foundation tune after tune. Pianist Matt Oestreicher’s array of well-crafted, spicy and eclectic fills, accompaniments, and solos bring to mind pianists from McCoy Tyner to Red Garland, and many in between. Bassist Chris DeAngelis’ solid undercurrent and footprint is everywhere on the album, displaying his commanding instrumental prowess. And driving the band, and embodying the group’s vision, is VJE drummer and leader Josh Feldstein. Josh’s swinging, thoughtful, and elegant percussive pulse and artistic feel sets the stage for a distinctly satisfying jazz experience tune after tune.
It’s About Time listeners and reviewers are decidedly united, exemplified in the Midwest Record’s write-up: “Smoking, contemporary mainstream jazz that is just so right…Hot stuff that really delivers.”