Craig Buhler: Capistrano Sessions (2007)
The disc kicks off with the West Coast bebop of "Lookear. Buhler shows off his Stan Getz tenor chops in this jagged swinging piece, and he allows pianist Dave Witham and brass man Brian Atkinson to show off theirs. The piece is a swinging throwback blues that has a momentum all its own. Momentum is the musical undercurrent at work here.
"Capistrano has a Pacific island theme accentuated by Atkinson's precise vibraphone and Buhler's swerving clarinet. "Molly Ann extrapolates this island sound in jaunty blues clothing with a loping 4/4 interlude. The entire collection of original compositions reeks of freshness and invention.
The Capistrano Sessions is a well-conceived project of mainstream jazz with a Left Coast bent. Buhler is a consummate educator and performer who has made this writer's end-of-the-year list.
Track Listing: Lookear; Capistrano; Rivers; October; Paris Buffet; Himalayan; Migration; Molly Ann; Quiet Passion; Madrid Session; Harbor Cafe Blues.
Personnel: Craig Buhler: clarinet, alto sax, tenor sax; Brian Atkinson: trumpet, flugelhorn, vibes; Dave Witham: piano; Joel Hamilton: bass; Paul Kreibich: drums, percussion.
Record Label: Discernment Music