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Out of that seemingly unlikely hotbed of jazz, New Bedford, Mass., from Whaling City Sounds, comes another sharp-edged, straight ahead outing: Finders Keepers from The Steve Langone Group.
Whaling City Sounds has given us Dan Moretti's fine trio outing, Once Through) ; and Don Govoni's Breaking Out , a very solid sax-in-front-of rhythm set; and now drummer Steve Langone gets his chance to strut his musical stuff in his debut as a leader.
The group sports a two sax front line, piano/bass/drums behind them, with Guilherme Monteiro adding some guitar zest on four of the nine tunes.
Drummer Langone has an understated, multi-faceted, driving approach to percussion, tinted a bit with some Latin rhythms. The front men on the set, sax guys Jerry Bergonzi (tenor) and Nestor Toro (alto) have similar, keening horn sounds. They weave and deftly dance their duets around each other rather than go for the unison approach on these eight originals and one classic song.
The highlight of the set of solid performances might be Langone's eleven minute "Sea Captain". It seems the Captain has been drinking; the two horn men stagger around each other as they blare the song to life, then, as the tempo picks up on Nestor Toro's simmering alto solo, and the rum flows, Guilherme Monteiro's tangy bite-of-lime guitar licks into the mix and goes for a pungent, stinging solo. The song's intensity builds, driven forward by Langone's contained tension that steps things up another notch behind Bergonzi's fiery, inspired tenor sax blowing.
Or perhaps the higlight is the band's version of MIles Davis's "Solar", a song that, after nearly fifty years, still sounds modern and fresh, cutting edge in the hands of Langone and Company.