Matt Criscuolo is a restaurateur in Connecticut, but also a veteran alto saxophonist and not just a hobbyist with spare finances to record albums. With his fourth outing as a leader, he once again aligns some of the finest jazz artisans such as, pianist Larry Willis and French horn maestro, John Clark. Criscuolo possess a unique tone that often resonates with an inherent stereo sound, bridging a touch of lower register warmth with the alto sax's altissimo register. He combines a forceful and fluent line of attack. Moreover, the studio processing of this session sparks remembrances of '70s style jazz ...read more
Alto saxophonist Matt Criscuolo's sound strikes me as quite distinctive on his second release, Lotus Blossom. The opening title tune is Billy Strayhorn's lovely, wistful composition, featuring Criscuolo dueting with pianist Larry Willis. The altoist's tone has a tart tang, like a drink of lemonade a wee bit short--bracingly so--on the sugar. The underrated veteran saxman Frank Morgan comes to mind in terms of tone, as well as in terms of attitude, with an energetic, fresh-sounding bop mood as the band comes in on the pianist's The Wisdom Prize."Criscuolo steals a page from the Sonny Rollins playbook with ...read more
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