February 03, 1986 12:00 PM

Doc Severinsen

Before he became an institution as a model of sartorial excess and general buffoonery on The Tonight Show, Severinsen was, of course, a jazz trumpet player of some substance. (He made some delightful records with such people as Steve Allen.) Here he shows that he can still hit the notes and lend them a nice bluesy growl, but a lot of the music seems a lame kind of fusion. While Severinsen sometimes shapes an inspired passage and bassist Jeff D’Angelo seems to attempt some real exchanges, for the most part the songs, written by Severinsen and his co-producer, Thomas Rizzo, are listless. The music is like mediocre Chuck Mangione, without the sense of thematic completion Mangione creates at his best. Severinsen himself plays with bursts of energy, but anyone who waits for him to get passionate is in for a futile vigil. (Passport Jazz)

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