Josh Lawrence, Call Time Review
by Jeff Becker
Josh Lawrence brings us an enjoyable project called Call Time on Posi-Tone records. Joining Lawrence for his fourth Posi-Tone release are bassist Boris Kozlov, pianist Art Hirahara, drummer Jason Tiemann, and tenor saxophonist Willie Morris. The seven songs draw from the time when jazz quintets set the tone for the genre. Lawrence especially has a cool vibe that can be traced back to the Miles Davis quintet. So if you dig Davis’ 50s cookin’, relaxin’, steamin’, and workin’ series, you will find familiar ground on Call Time.
“Pumpkin Pi” gets the swing proceedings in flow with an easy-going blues-formed melody. Fans of hard-bop and post-bop will hear Lawrence’s lines appeal and the rhythm team’s swing. Morris performs a graceful solo that is followed by Hirahara, who expands beyond 50s sounds to a more modern territory.
In the same vein is, “Sam I Am,” which pays a fun tribute to bebop and hard-bop, showcasing fine playing by all and a up-tempo energy. Again, Lawrence’s proficiency comes into focus here, employing a balance of space and intricate lines sitting nicely in the pocket.
On Call Time, Lawrence and associates emphasize the love of excellent time feel and strong melodies found in the jazz of the 50s. Sharing this common strength with today’s jazz audience, the result of Call Time is a gratifying experience in today’s jazz landscape.