Portfolio provides a collection of standards and contemporary songs, all treated with a warm jazz styling. This rich blend of ensemble work features pianist EdVodicka and includes a thirty-two piece all-star orchestra and strong solo performances by some highly regarded "friends" in the music industry.
Featured soloists include jazz violinist Johnny Frigo, alto saxophonist Mike Smith, harmonica virtuoso Howard Levy and vibraphonist Bob Wessberg. Also featured are trombone solos by Loren Binford and trumpet solos by Warren Kime. The stellar lead-trumpet of Danny Barber as well as the marvelous rhythm section consisting of bassist Jim Atlas, drummer Chuck Christiansen and guitarist Frank Hastick add to this dynamic recording.
Linear notes by the Emmy Award-winning producer, arranger and conductor Nick Perito:
The words that came to mind the first time I heard this album we "exciting" -- "fresh" -- "innovative." However, after the second and third listenings, I realized they didn't come close to describing the true sbustance of this collection of beautiful songs -- some old, some new -- all arranged and conducted magnificently by Ed Vodicka. His solo piano playing is an absolute joy -- tender and delicate on the ballads, percussive and dynamic on the up tunes. It warms my heart to hear good music arranged like this (covering so many different styles) and played by a group of musicians who obviously had a wonderful time working with Ed. Their ensemble playing is truly impressive! I feel too many young instrumentalists today seem to focus on technique -- to "dazzle" rather than to "communicate." The soloists here starting with Ed on piano, John Frigo, violin, Mike Smith on alto and Howard Levy on harmonica are much more concerned with substance. you will get the feeling they are "talking to you" -- delivering a soulful and personal message. What a delight! I'm happy this kind of music is still alive and well and thriving in the hands of these talented musicians.
So do yourself a favor. Get comfortable . . . kick back . . . and listen to the musical magic of Ed Vodicka, his piano and orchestra.
-Hidden Hills, California