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Miami Saxophone Quartet: Fourtified (2009)

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Miami Saxophone Quartet: Fourtified How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Before even blowing a note, the Miami Saxophone Quartet has earned bonus points by doing something other such groups would be wise to emulate: it has added a rhythm section (at least on three of Fourtified's nine tracks). There's even a second quartet—viola, cello, two violins—on the aptly named three-movement "Jazz Suite for Double Quartet," Latin percussion (courtesy of Richard Bravo) on "Spunky" and "Seventh Sign," and a guitarist (Daniel Warren
Daniel Warren
Daniel Warren
b.1972
guitar
) on "Spunky." To add more spice to the bill of fare, alto Gary Lindsay doubles on synthesizer on his arrangement of Byron Miller's "Sign." Despite being partial to woodwinds, it's pleasing to hear the saxophones in the company of assorted other instruments.

Even so, it is the saxophones (Lindsay; Gary Keller

Gary Keller
Gary Keller
b.1953
saxophone
, soprano; Ed Calle
Ed Calle
Ed Calle

saxophone
, tenor; Mike Brignola, baritone) who are the drawing card here, and they never fail to please, individually or collectively. The interplay is often breathtaking (dig the awesome precision, for example, on Dave Brubeck
Dave Brubeck
Dave Brubeck
1920 - 2012
piano
's "Blue Rondo a la Turk"), the solos enterprising and perceptive. "Blue Rondo" (enhanced by Chuck Bergeron's resonant bass) is followed by another endearing Brubeck melody, "It's a Raggy Waltz," on which everyone (including pianist Jim Gasior) has a chance to spread his wings. Calle wrote the diaphanous "Dancing on a Cloud" and down-home closer, "Spunky." Gasior, Bravo, Warner, Bergeron and drummer Lee Levin comprise the rhythm section on "Spunky." The quartet (sans backup) rounds out the program with Paquito D'Rivera
Paquito D'Rivera
Paquito D'Rivera
b.1948
saxophone
's serpentine dance, "Wapango."

Lindsay's twenty-seven minute-plus "Jazz Suite" blends the two groups in a splendid association, rife with exhilarating musical moments. Keller and violinist Glen Basham solo on the first movement; Keller, Lindsay and Brignola on the second; Calle on the third. The suite forms an opulent centerpiece for an album that is as persuasive as it is stylish and engaging.


Track Listing: Seventh Sign; Blue Rondo a la Turk; It

Personnel: Gary Keller: soprano, tenor sax (2); Gary Lindsay: alto sax, synthesizer (1); Ed Calle: tenor sax; Mike Brignola: baritone sax; James Gasior (3, 4, 9): piano; Chuck Bergeron (2, 3, 4, 9): bass; Mike Harvey (3, 4), Lee Levin (9): drums; Dan Warner (9): guitar; Richard Bravo (1, 9): Latin percussion; Bergonzi String Quartet (5-7): Glen Basham, Scott Flavin: violin; Pamela McConnell: viola; Ross Harbaugh: cello.

Record Label: Fourtitude

Style: Modern Jazz


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