Douglos Olsen "2 Cents"
Review by Willard Manus

Olsen does more than add his two cents’ worth to this new CD.

The New England-based jazz musician shines on 2 CENTS, playing trumpet/flugelhorn on its nine tracks, six of which are compositions of his own. He also arranged each of the tunes and led the nine-piece band as well.

As if that weren’t enough, Olsen alternates between two different styles: straight-ahead jazz and music in the Latin Jazz/Afro-Cuban tradition.

Backed by his own trio (Tim Ray, piano; Dave Zinno, bass; Mark Walker, drums), Olsen kicks things off with a speedy, hard-driving version of “Tailwind.” That’s followed by another of his compositions, “2 Cents,” a warm, jaunty tune with a positive vibe.

Then, joined by Angel Subero (trombone and guiro) and Ernesto Diaz (congas), Olsen changes gears and heads south of the border with his interpretation of Dizzy Gillespie’s “Algo Bueno.” That’s followed by two more Latin-flavored classics, “Miles Rumba” and “Boperation” (by Howard McGee and Fats Navarro).

Next Olsen returns to hard bop: a fast and furious “Rat Race,” followed by a warm, bluesy ballad, “Una Para Ti.” That’s typical of what this album has to offer: one surprise after another, delivered with craftsmanship and high spirits.