The latest release from the Verve Jazz Ensemble is one this year’s best jazz albums to date. This kind of jazz pays striking tribute to the music of Duke Ellington’s “Take The A Train,” a silent moment to feel the simply joys of life. But wait my good friends, this is not for the initiate. This is sweet jazz for the aficionados. So, let’s talk about the wonderful, and at times brilliant performances of these musicians. Trumpeter Tatum Greenblatt is the hero here, followed with gratitude for Peter Bernstein (guest guitarist), along with the beautiful synergy of Jon Blanck (tenor sax), Matt Oestreicher (piano), Elias Bailey (bass), Josh Feldstein (drums), Chris Deangelis (bass), and Steve Einerson (piano). The five outstanding performances include “Jitterbug Waltz,” “You And The Night And The Music,” “My One And Only Love,” “Flor De Lis,” and “East End Avenue.” Everywhere on this album there are genuine pearls of the American jazz book with invocations and eulogies reminiscent of some of jazz great masters. East End Sojourn is an award-winning jazz album of contemporary beauty and poetic artistry.
– Jean-Keith Fagon