Cleveland, Ohio, is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s also a hotbed of jazz. In Requiem for a Jazz Lady, saxophonist Ernie Krivda sends a love letter to the city on the shore of Lake Erie.

Krivda plays tenor saxophone. With him are Lafayette Carthon, piano; Marion Hayden, bass; and Renell Gonsalves, drums.

“The Remarkable Mr. Black” is vintage, straightforward jazz. Krivda comes right out of the gate, blowing with vigor. The rhythm trio is firmly locked in, each player making a mark. But it’s the leader expressing freely from start to just beyond the midway point. Carthon takes point briefly. The piano is followed by a call-and-response sequence, with Krivda leading the band during the calls, and Gonsalves going it alone on the responses. It sets up a delightful ending.

“Questions” is a bright, sassy song. After a couple of passes on the main theme, Krivda delivers a solo that’s part blues, part funk, injecting a few throaty growls for emphasis. Carthon stretches out in a style that straddles the line between New Orleans jazz and a church sermon. Hayden also gets a moment to lick her chops.

“Great Lakes Gumbo” is a gritty blues piece. One can imagine Krivda dreaming this one up in a club where the stage is near the kitchen, and the aroma of various seasonings captures all his senses. His powerful playing represents the hunger, the anticipation of the dish. Carthon’s solo is that moment when the gumbo is served and Krivda takes a bowl. Thusly sated, the leader rejoins the band to complete the song.

“Music for this album was put together from a frame of reference that I would call reflective,” Krivda says in a note on the back cover. “There are six originals and a standard that are mindful of my relationship to jazz in Cleveland, Ohio (my home town).”

The story behind Requiem for a Jazz Lady begins in 1964. A teenager named Beverly Jarosz was brutally murdered. The case remains unsolved. Over the years, Jarosz’s sister contacted Krivda after combing over details of the crime and seeking overlooked clues. Though unable to offer additional information, Krivda never forgot. The Cleveland jazz scene of the 1960s was thriving. Krivda honed his trade in the clubs and bandstands of the city during that decade, so he decided that a future project would honor that moment in time. So the album is part tribute to Jarosz and part reflection of that era.inghamton University for his master’s in classical piano.