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Bob Mintzer has been an active and successful member of the jazz community for some time now. He has been involved in numerous projects ranging from a fifteen-year stint with The Yellowjackets and his local New York big band to countless side gigs and projects with some of the most well-known figures in jazz. Something he has not done in a while, however, is release a small group recording. So after six long years of silence, the Bob Mintzer Quartet has finally released a soulful, intimate album, In the Moment, which is sure to please.
This recording by Mintzer's quartetJay Anderson (bass), Phil Markowitz (piano), John Riley (drums) and Mintzer (tenor saxophone and bass clarinet)is aptly titled due to its "unprepared origins. Mintzer states in his liner notes, "To spontaneously create, interact and rejoice in the moment is the goal of every jazz musician, and that is exactly what takes place on this album that took the group four hours to record and was not revised once.
Anderson, Markowitz and Riley are the rhythm section in Mintzer's big band as well as this quartet, and the four veterans, as a whole, have a solid connection that is present throughout the entire album. "Aha is a great example of hearing this group interact with one another. Mintzer has created a beautiful melody that fits surprisingly well over the somewhat modern feel of the tune. The listener feels a strong connection between the three rhythm section players as Markowitz takes a harmonically pleasing solo and is complemented at every turn by his brothers in rhythm.
All four of these players are astounding musicians and profound interpreters of the jazz language. To see Mintzer in a small group setting after such a long wait is both encouraging and rewarding and will leave the listener longing for more of this extraordinary ensemble.
Track Listing: Straight Ahead; Listen Here; Time After Time; Aha; Simple Song; What's the World; Play Pretty; Blues; Forgiveness.
Personnel: Bob Mintzer: tenor saxophone and bass clarinet; Jay Anderson: bass; Phil Markowitz: piano; John Riley: drums.