Christian Winther: Perspectives (2001)
This new young tenorist was born and bred in New Orleans. He took up the clarinet at 11 and by age 13 was playing clubs with local pros. As with so many others, the music of Charlie Parker inspired him to switch to sax. At the University of New Orleans he studied with noted patriarch Ellis Marsalis, among others, and has toured the US and Europe with both modernand traditional New Orleans bands.
"Perspectives" is his debut CD, released in 2001 on Curious Cat Records with a group of fine local musicians. There's some great energy in here, notably on the opening "Softly," the CD's peak, which is anything but soft and swings like mad, the bright and sassy "Four in One," and the second-line grooving on Geoff Keezer's rarely-covered "Proclamation." All supporting players are solid throughout, and pianist Torkanowky really wails on "Softly." Winther has a strong, warm, somewhat dark tone, and his lines are direct and uncluttered. He delivers "Body and Soul" in a straight, deliberate manner with no surprises. Up-tempo tunes seem to suit him better, like his own jaunty "Erin's Song." He also wrote the intriguing title track, which has an exotic, Middle-Eastern flavor, and a fine solo by trumpeter Gambrell. It's a promising debut, available at www.christianwinther.com .
Track Listing: Softly as in a Morning Sunrise, Four in One, Monkey Puzzle, Body and Soul, Proclamation, Magnolia Triangle, Erin's Song, Perspectives
Personnel: Christian Winther (tenor sax), Antonio Gambrell (trumpet), David Torkanowsky (piano), David Pulphus (bass), Troy Davis (drums), Tim Stambaugh (engineer)
Record Label: Curious Cat