By: Scott Yanow, LA Jazz Scene
Roxy Coss is a very talented tenor and soprano-saxophonist who deserves to be well known. She plays with passion and intensity yet can also caress a melody with warmth.
Born in Seattle, she began playing piano and then switched to tenor-sax when she was nine. The saxophonist moved to New York a decade ago, made her recording debut as a leader in 2010, and recorded three albums as a leader during 2016-18. Although she has worked with such artists as Clark Terry, Louis Hayes, Claudio Roditi, Jeremy Pelt and the Diva Jazz Orchestra and guested with many top musicians, she is becoming best-known as a leader and has worked extensively as an educator.
On her fifth CD as a leader, Quintet, Ms. Coss is joined by keyboardist Mimi Yamanaka, guitarist Alex Wintz, bassist Rick Rosato and drummer Jimmy MacBride. She performs seven originals plus a hard-swinging version of “All Or Nothing At All.” Among the highlights are the hard bop-oriented “Don’t Cross The Coss,” her soprano playing on “Free To Be,” her relaxed ballad “Enlightenment,” and the driving uptempo blues “Females Are Strong As Hell.”
While her sidemen are excellent, giving her the support she needs along with some concise solos, Roxy Coss dominates her set, showing that she is one of the top up-and-coming talents on the New York jazz scene; in fact, one could argue that she is always realizing her potential. Quintet (available from www.outsideinmusic.com) gives listeners a strong sampling of the powerful playing of Roxy Coss.