Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Star Eyes differently

Walking to work the other day, the Nano came up with some saxophone playing that stretched the possibilities of "Star Eyes," and even wrung some new possibilities from it, with a sound lighter than Sonny Rollins but heavier than Ornette Coleman and an approach somewhere between the two, kind of Michael Breckerish. The cut came from Larry Schneider's "Jazz," SteepleChase, and the description could pretty much cover the rest of the disk, the ballads, like "Old Folks," included.

The rhythm section is nice as well, Andy LaVerne on piano, Steve LaSpina on bass and Matt Wilson (becoming one of those guys I use as a sign that a disk I'm thinking of buying is probably worthwhile) on drums. They tend not to venture as far as Schneider, which is OK because I think it helps anchor what the saxophonist does and makes this an approachable CD for anyone from jazz neocons to avant-garde acolytes and that's saying something. LaVerne contributes a couple compositions. I really liked "Portrait of Dorian Mode." It almost sounds like it has Chinese music underlying it.

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