the January 3, 2011, JazzWeek Album Chart, trumpeter Tony Guerrero’s
Blue Room (Charleston Square) was listed 22nd.
That’s for good reason. The album is a delightful mix of standards and new
Guerrero has consistently maintained Top 20 airplay and has an
international following. The California musician also plays flugelhorn and
cornet. The trio of Llew Matthews on piano, Dave Enos on bass and Matt
Johnson on drums accompanies Guerrero. The set also features several guest
“Just a Few,” a lively piece composed by Shorty Rogers, features Doug Webb
on sax with additional brass provided by West End Horns. About two minutes
into the song, Webb and Guerrero enter a spirited dialogue, trading
phrases for an extended sequence. The horns pitch in at key times. Then
the band stops, while the two leads stretch out. Though a small ensemble,
this piece has the feel of a traditional big band.
Guerrero’s own “Dizzy Does It” accomplishes two things in one title. It
pays tribute to master of the bent horn, John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie. And
it is a clever spin on the phrase, “Easy does it.” The two ideas come
together nicely. Guerrero plays the muted trumpet, and although the theme
is very different, one can’t help but think of Dizzy playing “Night in
Tunisia.” The rhythm section is solid, and Webb contributes a playful sax
solo. “Dizzy Does It” is a swinging, dancer-friendly tune.
One of the most fun tunes is the arrangement of Mel Davis’ “Flugel Bugle
Blues.” It has a 1940s flavor to it, with the horn section in full force.
At times, the trumpets punch in with a throaty, grinding sound – like one
of the big band arrangements of Horace Silver’s “Sister Sadie.” Guerrero
breaks up the hard driving mood briefly with a smooth flugelhorn solo. The
solitude doesn’t last long as the horns punch in again.
In addition to the rhythm section, Webb and the horns, Guerrero is
supported in spots by guitarist Jamie Findlay, saxophonist and flutist
Robert Kyle, organist Joe Bagg, pianist Frank Giebels, trumpeter Willie
Murillo, saxophonist Mark Visher and trombonist Jason Thor. The result is
a thrilling trip down memory lane, but with a fresh view of the scenery