“In jazz, there have always been artists good enough to be known nationally and internationally, yet who maintain a more local or regional profile. The Virginia-based drummer, composer, radio host and programmer Jae Sinnett fits this description. On this jazz date, his 12th as a leader, his trio is the main focus. He’s been playing with bassist Terry Burrell and Allen Farnham for over ten years – and it shows. The Cole Porter standard Love for Sale is, for instance, given an exhilarating treatment in which a Latin groove morphs to swing in the bridge and back with a finesse born of compatibility.
“Six of the nine songs are Sinnett originals. The title cut, Still Standing has an instrumental R&B vibe and would be perfect for a singer such as Paulette McWilliams, who, like Sinnett, traverses jazz, R&B, and other styles with aplomb. On sticks or brushes, Sinnett steadily morphs into the role necessary for the feel required by a song.
“A favorite original is Nor Easter, which half way through resounds with thunderous rains. But the tune is less a literal picture of an actual weather storm than a depiction of an attitude of strength, flexibility, and caution that one needs in the midst of life’s storms.
“Burrell’s Choice is a modal tune with dramatic elements and crystalline solos by Sinnett, and pianist Justin Kauflin, the other pianist on the date. Burrell, who plays with excellence on acoustic and electric bass throughout, contributes Long Time Waiting, on which the trio sounds like a fantasy jazz combination of Ahmad Jamal, Stanley Clarke, and Steve Gadd.
“This music reflects, as Sinnett writes, ‘the soul and vitality of a seasoned life.’ It packs an emotional punch with intellectual depth.
“I wish the entire review would have run, but in this case something is better than nothin.”
Greg Thomas, New York Daily News