Jazz pianist, singer, and composer Steve Dooks presents light, enjoyable jazz fare in Cocktails, Heartaches and Cigars. Echoing classic jazz found in 1950s Las Vegas nightclubs, Cocktails, Heartaches and Cigars is smoothly playful.
With Chris Mitchell and J. Goodspeed on saxophone, Jamie Gatti on bass, Rick Waychesko on trumpet, Danny Martin on trombone, and Dave Burton, Donny Chapman and Scott Ferguson on drums, Dooks has assembled a group of highly talented musicians, ones who seamlessly solo without disrupting the groove of the songs.
Dooks opens Cocktails, Heartaches and Cigars with "Smooth and Easy," an aptly named track that sets the pace for the rest of the album with its good-humored, blithe approach to jazz.
"What Does Your Heart Say," another pleasing track, is lightly sensual. The piano and saxophone solos are excellent, and Dooks's rough voice adds a hint of Louis Armstrong.
The title track, "Cocktails, Heartache and Cigars," an upbeat big band chart that shows off Dooks's talent as a pianist and composer, and "My Attorney Bernie," a humorous classic every jazz aficionado should have heard at least once, stand out on this light-hearted album.
Cocktails, Heartaches and Cigars is a collection of jazz songs best found in a nightclub; the only thing missing is the image of a woman dressed in a sequined black cocktail dress. Highly enjoyable, this album features excellent soloing and begs to be danced to.
Monday, April 21, 2008