Sign up for our free newsletter

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.