Jeff Lofton Quartet
Reviewed by Jay Trachtenberg, Fri., Nov. 27, 2009
Jeff Lofton QuartetJazz to the People
Trumpeter Jeff Lofton hits the bull's-eye on this sterling local debut that digs a deep groove regardless of tempo. Since coming to Austin from South Carolina several years ago, Lofton has been omnipresent on the scene. Never bashful of his admiration for Miles Davis, he's crafted a sound largely around Davis' formative quintet of the late 1950s. It's a sound that embraces the blues and swings passionately whether riding herd on originals "Shana's Song" and "Mouth of Gabriel" or cozying up to chestnuts "Crazy" and "Georgia on My Mind." Lofton reinforces the Miles connection with the deft use of muted trumpet on soulful strutters "Headless Blues" and "A.I.M." Highlight "Herbie's Time" blows reminiscent of Lee Morgan's Blue Note hits of the mid-1960s. Reinforcement from underappreciated pianist Red Young, who's superb throughout, and always formidable local saxman Alex Coke help make this a delightfully swingin' affair.