PDXV is a jazz quintet from Portland, Oregon that never dips into the canned blahs of what you normally hear on those inescapable “smooth” radio stations. Featuring Dick Titterington (trumpet, flugelhorn), Rob Davis (tenor, soprano sax), Greg Goebel (piano), Dave Captein (bass), and Randy Rollofson (drums), PDXV is the perfect marriage of knife-sharp technical skill, youthful exuberance, and selfless chemistry. Every musician in the group is given their own moments to shine and when they start really jamming, such as on nearly the closing moments of Thelonious Monk’s “Trinkle Tinkle,” you can begin to feel the sweat on your brow.
Tightness is what you expect from top-flight jazz groups, but there has to be some looseness, too – that sense of transcendent liberation which emanates from a unit which truly knows how to groove. Recorded live at Jimmy Mak’s in Portland, Vol. 2 is a breathtaking document of ice-cold rhythmic precision and upbeat, delightfully sunny ambiance. Particularly striking are the version of Fred Hersch’s “Rain Waltz” with its hopeless romanticism illuminated by lovely piano and Tom Harrell’s trumpet-powered “Time Shuffle.”