There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Ron Holloway doesn’t stick with any one jazz style on Struttin’, his second CD for California’s Milestone label. It’s no wonder—the D.C.-based tenor saxophonist’s history is as eclectic as his new album. Holloway toured with Dizzy Gillespie’s last quintet and played behind the jazz-funk poetry of Gil Scott-Heron as well as the protopunk of Root Boy Slim. The disc is a study in contrast: The organ-driven R&B of Gene Ammons’ “Jungle Strut” precedes a rueful, nine-minute version of “How Long Has This Been Going On.” David Williams’ boisterous bass bolsters Holloway’s joyously clear tenor solos, continually spurring him on, as in the boppish Mercer/Arlen composition “Come Rain or Shine.” Holloway surrounds himself with complementary keyboardists: Lilting pianist Kenny Barron deftly duets with the saxman on “Where Are You?,” while the watery texture of Lonnie Smith’s Hammond B-3 organ mournfully braces Tadd Dameron’s classic “Soultrane.” The Indian raga-funk “Cobra” is Holloway’s only original song, and Broto Roy’s tabla drums, John Bell’s sitar, and Seema Sugandh’s vocals give the composition a worldly edge. Holloway celebrates the release of Struttin’ July 20 at Blues Alley.