Mike Dopazo Peccadillo's Arm
Alto saxophonist Mike Dopazo's first date as a leader, recorded over the course of one day at Beacon's Cassandra Studio, is a revelation. It's a classic. From the opening thrum of "Tomahawk," pushed along by Bryan Ponton's relentlessly gorgeous piano, to the final trumpet-less take of "Milestones," Peccadillo's Arm does all a jazz record needs to do. It swings, it squalls, and it sings. Dopazo, as strong a composer as he is a player, has a throaty, vocal tone on his horn, and for the lone soprano track, "Shannanigans," he all but namechecks the John Coltrane Quartet (right down to Ponton's McCoy Tyner block chords). The title track, driven with a subdued pulse by drummer Dave Berger and bassist John Merritt, refers, according to Dopazo's notes, to a scorpion's tail. It's got the right sting. If this is a first taste, we'll want to hear more in the future.