Friday, August 11, 2006

Saxofonistas passing

I count 21 renditions of "All the Things You Are" in my iTunes music library, which is to say you better be a player if you want to get my attention with the song. Tenorman Lin Halliday, who sometimes reminds me of Sonny Rollins in his flights from melody, and pianist Jodie Christian do on Halliday's "East of the Sun," Delmark, an CD I took a flier on (didn't know a thing about Halliday) after reading about it on the Brazilian jazz Web log jazzseen, kind of.

OK, jazzseen is in Portuguese and I can read a little Spanish and French but no Portuguese. I was attracted by the cover photo, however, Halliday looking like he's seen a lot of bad road and clutching the only thing keeping him going, his horn. And if I don't read Portuguese, I recognized the names Coleman Hawkins and Anthony Braxton in the text; intriguing combination. Then there's the description of Halliday in the rough translation of the text by Google, "one of these saxofonistas strangers who pass incognitos for all, smile to the life and die without ostentation." Good enough for me.

The presence of the severely underexposed Ira Sullivan on this consistently excellent disk also suggests it, whether it's Sullivan playing bass flute (oops, alto flute as Marc Berner points out in an e-mail) on the title track, the trumpet on "I Found a New Baby," the flugelhorn on "Corcovado," or adding a second tenor sax in spots for good measure. What a talent. He, Halliday and Christian, who also should be better known, mesh with near perfection on "Corcovado." Halliday's soloing on "My Foolish Heart" is gripping. I want more.

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