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Dave Glasser: Above the Clouds (2006)

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Dave Glasser: Above the Clouds How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Alto saxophonist Dave Glasser may not be widely known in the world of jazz, but that will change in time. Above the Clouds provides all the evidence one would need to acknowledge that an important new voice is on the scene. This release is a quartet recording with a solid lineup of musicians, featuring Glasser on alto playing a half dozen of his original compositions.



Glasser is an intelligent soloist with a wide range of resources. His solo work is typically subtle with a keen feel for the nuances of a composition. The supporting cast includes three pros of considerable accomplishment: Larry Ham on piano, Dennis Irwin on bass, and Carl Allen on drums.



Glasser isn't a youngster, either in years or in his approach to the music. He is a restrained, refined, and conscious craftsman who demonstrates deep knowledge of a wide range of jazz styles. There's a bit of a sampler approach to the recording, but he pulls it off gracefully thanks to his genuine engagement with each track.



One of the highlights of the release is an intimate version of "In a Sentimental Mood which show cases Glasser's ability to elaborate on a solo statement in an intensely creative manner—this is a demonstration of technique wedded to imagination. Glasser's ability to develop long, graceful solo lines is also evidence that he will be around for quite awhile. Other highlights include the title track "Above the Clouds," and the impressively played "Blues for Mat, both are Glasser compositions.



For the most part Dave Glasser's very able band acts as a back-up band, maintaining focus on the saxophonist. Larry Ham delivers consistently interesting but short solos throughout. Both Dennis Irwin and Carl Allen are widely known rhythm aces who are not featured much in the solo department but provide fine support, along with Ham, for Glasser's solo work. Above the Clouds is an excellent release by an alto saxophonist you'll hear more about in the future.


Track Listing: Cant I?; A Little Funky; Our Love Is Here to Stay; Stitts Bits; Above the Clouds; Easter Parade; Tranquility; In a Sentimental Mood; Hidden Truths; Every Day I Fall in Love; Blues for Mat; Ive Been Working on the Railroad.

Personnel: Dave Glasser: alto saxophone; Larry Ham: piano; Dennis Irwin: bass; Carl Allen: drums.

Record Label: Arbors Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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