Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2021 November 15 • Monday

Continuing this month's theme of jazz interpretations of soundtrack music is Eddie Costa’s album Guys and Dolls Like Vibes, the 700th Soundtrack of the Week.

It opens with “Guys and Dolls” done in a very swinging and breezy feel with a great piano solo. Costa also takes a nice turn on the vibes, as you’d expect.

Solo piano begins “Adelaide” in a romantic and neo-classical mood and when the band comes in it’s with a smoky, late-night, slow-dancing, brushes on snare atmosphere. There’s lovely interplay between the vibes and piano and both take wonderful solos with a great bass solo in between. The tempo picks up at the end for a surprising shift in energy.

“If I Were a Bell” starts with Costa doing very reasonable bell impressions on the vibes, after which he starts tearing it up over lean and brisk support from the other musicians. Then another great solo and the band drops out so Costa can have a little bell time before everyone jumps back in for the ending.

A driving and unusual, perhaps slightly exotic 12/8 rhythmic pulse kicks off “Luck Be a Lady”, giving this already swinging number a lot more swing in addition to syncopation and a delightful tension, alternatingly created and dispelled by going back and forth between the 12/8 and a fast jazz 4/4 walking bass groove. Costa really stretches out on this one for a long and creative solo, followed by an equally impressive turn from the pianist.

Another romantic piano intro kicks off “I’ve Never Been in Love Before”, a delicately beautiful number played at a medium but unhurried tempo. The piano covers the melody with clarity and restraint and there are tasteful solos from the vibes and piano. Halfway through, everything changes and it becomes a bright, perky swing tune, full of energy.

Then the record ends with “l’ll Know”, a relaxed and easygoing piece that has a valedictory feel to it. As usual, the piano and vibes solos are impeccable.