Jordan Pettay uses her alto and soprano sax to put Sunday Morning soul back into the heart of jazz on this wonderful mix of spirituals and originals. Since the first days of jazz, the church has been an important foundation of America’s classical music, and Pettay touches into that taproot along with Christian Sands/p-key, Luke Sellick/b, Jimmy McBride/dr and guests Mat Jodrell/tp and Joe McDonough/tb.
Armed with a sweet tone on both soprano and alto, Pettay leads the sextet format through a vintage Blue Note groove on the sleek “ Whatever Happens” with her Lou Donaldson-flavored horn caressing Sands’ warm ivories, while she is sensitively sensuous over his keyboards and MacBride’s pulse on “You Make Me Feel Brand New.” On soprano, she is guided by MacBride’s cymbals on an ESP-era’d “For Wayne” and is thoughtful on the post bop title track.
Things get deeper as she opens up her hymnal and gently floats like the light from a church candle on a lovely “I Am Thine O Lord” gently shining as if light through a stained glass window on a meditative “I Exalt Thee” and is meditative on a fervent “I Surrender All” before closing with Sellick laying down the gospel beat on a Baptist reading of “Are You Washed in the Blood?”. Even if you only go to church on Christmas and Easter, this album will give you the warm musical balm of Gilead.
When’s she hitting So Cal?