This is probably the first time in quite a long while that I find a perfect match between an album title and its content. “Cool” is definitely the word that I would use to describe Ron Burris and his music. He has an incredible control over the dynamics of his compositions, and everything he does is completely spot-on, perfectly expressing his emotion and energy through the music.
This amazing album features nine songs, and it’s great to experience how each track explores a different texture and creative idea, highlighting Burris’ incredible versatility as a jazz performer. The first song, “Mode for Hank,” blinks an eye to the classic edge of the genre, with a truly smooth approach to saxophone and quite a fantastic feel to it. What’s even more interesting is the fact that Burris has the ability to play complex and articulate lines, yet he knows when to go for a more understated sound, keeping the music first and creating some truly engaging soundscapes for his audience. After all, great music is not just about showing off. Some jazz performers feel like they’re trying to sprint and outpace the others, and as a result, they are quickly found gasping for a breath of air. This is never the case for his playing. He flows and travels smoothly, never overdoing it and always staying true to the songs.
Tracks like the title song itself as well as “Blues for Carla” and the final song, “You Send Me,” are actually really great example of what I am talking about it. If you like modern jazz records with a warm and classy vibe, this one should be right up your alley indeed. Straight out of California, Burris could rightfully be described as a jazz veteran, and as a saxophone player, he constantly strives to come up with new, exciting ideas and ways to express himself, even through he is as accomplished as it gets musically! The artist’s constant pursuit of great sound is truly inspiring.