Attitude & Gratitude album review @ All About Jazz

Album Review


Sign in to view read count

Henry Godfrey Jazz Orchestra: Attitude & Gratitude

There are five songs on Attitude & Gratitude, drummer

Henry Godfrey

” data-original-title=”” title=””>Henry Godfrey‘s Boston-based Jazz Orchestra’s second album, and each one is a tribute to people, places or circumstances that have helped Godfrey grow as a musician and as a person.

In order, they are “For McCoy” (honoring pianist

McCoy Tyner
McCoy Tyner

1938 – 2020

” data-original-title=”” title=””>McCoy Tyner and other jazz legends who have passed on); “Mad Max” (for the city [Washington, DC] in which Godfrey grew up); “Forgetting What Will Never Be” (for lost love and the “lessons in heartbreak and grief”); “Hot Water” (for the “kitchen camaraderie” while Godfrey served as chef at a Japanese restaurant), and “We’ll Get There” (for strong communities built in the face of adversity that included a pandemic). Godfrey composed and arranged all of them.

Godfrey shows a keen ear throughout, with occasional contrapuntal touches reminiscent of the late great

” data-original-title=”” title=””>Bill Potts, another product of the Washington area and its service bands (like Potts, Godfrey was once a member of the U.S. Army Blues). Alas, the recording itself doesn’t always bring out the best in Godfrey’s seventeen-member ensemble, as reeds and especially brass are at times overly harsh and less than well-defined. Not necessarily disconcerting, simply not as sharp and clear as a modern recording would seem to warrant.

The themes are for the most part upbeat, starting with “For McCoy,” a forceful groover that showcases the orchestra’s assertive rhythm section alongside stalwart solos by pianist

” data-original-title=”” title=””>Rowan Barcham and guitarist ” data-original-title=”” title=””>Pritesh Walia, and continuing with “Mad Max” whose emphatic go-go beat harkens back to Godfrey’s early days gigging all night in his hometown. Solos are by Godfrey, baritone

Nicholas Suchecki

saxophone, baritone

” data-original-title=”” title=””>Nicholas Suchecki and trumpeter ” data-original-title=”” title=””>Eli Block. The lone ballad, “Forgetting What Will Never Be,” morphs into a seductive bolero and rhythmic cha—cha to underline ardent solos by trombonist ” data-original-title=”” title=””>joey dies, bassist ” data-original-title=”” title=””>Anna Abondolo and tenor ” data-original-title=”” title=””>ian buss.

Godfrey’s agile brushes introduce “Hot Water,” a bright and swinging minor blues whose amiable solos are delivered by trombonist ” data-original-title=”” title=””>Jasmine Sloane and tenor

Anton Derevyanko

saxophone, tenor

” data-original-title=”” title=””>Anton Derevyanko. That leads to “We’ll Get There,” a colorful pastiche that placed in ASCAP’s 2021 Herb Alpert Young Composers competition. Alto saxophonist

Alex Ramirez

saxophone, alto

” data-original-title=”” title=””>Alex Ramirez is featured, with a second solo by trumpeter

Matt Kelly

” data-original-title=”” title=””>Matt Kelly and more well—knit work from the rhythm section. Attitude & Gratitude is by no means a classic big-band session (the recorded sound alone would preclude that) but one that is definitely above average, thanks to Godfrey’s persuasive charts and the orchestra’s expertise in bringing them to life.

How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres. Learn more about our star rating system


Track Listing

For McCoy; Mad Max; Forgetting What Will Never Be; Hot Water; We’ll Get There.


Henry Godfrey: drums; Miles Keingstein: trumpet; Matt Kelly: trumpet; Eli Block: trumpet; Zoe Murphy: trumpet; aaron dutton: saxophone; ian buss: saxophone; Anton Derevyanko: saxophone, tenor; Nicholas Suchecki: saxophone, baritone; joey dies: trombone; Jasmine Sloane: trombone; Sam Margolis: trombone; michael juba prentky: trombone; Pritesh Walia: guitar; Rowan Barcham: piano; Anna Abondolo: bass.

Album information

Title: Attitude & Gratitude
| Year Released: 2023
| Record Label: Self Produced


Get the Jazz Near You newsletter
All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made “AAJ” one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.


To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we’ll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.