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John Mattern Quartet: Afrosano (2006)

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John Mattern Quartet: Afrosano How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Preserving the tradition of straight-ahead jazz through this program of standards and original compositions, John Mattern brings his warm, muscular tenor tone, seamless phrasing and fluid articulation to this cohesive affair. The Northern California saxophonist cites a who's who list of tenor giants as his primary jazz influences. In his interpretations, you can feel the spirit of them all watching over him as he explores the bop tradition with class.

An adventuresome take on Take the 'A' Train features tempo shifts and creative soloing from saxophone, piano and bass. "Smile lets the quartet take a leisurely stroll through the park while delighting in Mattern's burnished tone and full attack. He's got the straight-ahead tradition nailed. "Have You Met Miss Jones lets the quartet swing loose and free around the leader's tenor, while Mattern's "Inger features his soprano saxophone in a lush ballad.

Mattern's "Afrosano brings an exotic theme to the arena that fills the room with dramatic, sublime intensity. Undercurrents of rhythmic excitement center on an extended drum solo that sparkles with adventure. The quartet oozes with passion, bringing a welcome emotional wave to this recommended session.

Visit John Mattern on the web.

Track Listing: Oliloqui Valley; Tenor Madness; Cost of Living; Take the A Train; Afrosano; Smile; Have You Met Miss Jones; Nothing Personal; Inger.

Personnel: John Mattern: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Lee Bloom: piano; Chris Amberger: bass; Alan Hall: drums.

Record Label: Gravel Plant Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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