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Jeff Lederer: Sunwatcher (2011)

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Jeff Lederer: Sunwatcher How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Sunwatchers is a most auspicious debut by saxophonist Jeff Lederer. The reed man chose to reanimate the spirit of Albert Ayler
Albert Ayler
Albert Ayler
1936 - 1970
sax, tenor
for this session, and along with Ayler's ghost came that of late-John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
spirituality and experimentation.

Lederer can been heard as the saxophone behind the creative bands of Ted Kooshian
Ted Kooshian
b.1961
piano
's cartoon and TV show music and drummer Matt Wilson
Matt Wilson
Matt Wilson
b.1964
drums
's newest quartet. Playing on Wilson's That's Gonna Leave A Mark (Palmetto, 2009), he is the yang to saxophonist Andrew D’Angelo
Andrew D’Angelo
Andrew D’Angelo

saxophone
's, well, yang.

Here, he returns the favor, employing Wilson at the drums, plus Jamie Saft
Jamie Saft
Jamie Saft

piano
at the keyboard and Buster Williams
Buster Williams
Buster Williams
b.1942
bass
on bass. Opening with his personal tribute to Ayler, "Albert's Sun," his tenor hails Ayler's sound with a fierce love cry. Playing with some jaw-dropping extended technique, he soars from deep tenor to whistling high notes before Saft follows, dancing along the new thing's edge of fidgety notes.

What flows from the opener is Ayler's immediate family, as Lederer summons his best Pharoah Sanders
Pharoah Sanders
Pharoah Sanders
b.1940
saxophone
for his "Turiyasangitananda," a devotional piece that's a tribute to Alice Coltrane
Alice Coltrane
Alice Coltrane
1937 - 2007
piano
, and the sanctified sound of gospel heard on Duke Pearson
Duke Pearson
Duke Pearson
b.1932
piano
's bluesy "Cristo Redentor" and "Snake In The Blackberry Patch," where Lederer massages his soprano into a dervish bliss. Paul Bley
Paul Bley
Paul Bley
b.1932
piano
's mini-ballad, "Albert's Love Theme," shifts into a bit of introspection, as Saft guides the saxophonist's inward prayer into the atmosphere.

This disc comes full circle, tying Alyer's prophecy with the African-American church on the traditional "Break Bread Together," grabbing equal parts jazz and blues with this old-timey revival.

Track Listing: Albert's Sun; Cristo Redentor; Arnold Schoenberg's Son; Snake In The Blackberry Patch; Albert's Love Theme; Arshawsky; Break Bread Together; Turiyasangitananda.

Personnel: Jeff Lederer: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, clarinet; Jamie Saft: piano, organ; Buster Williams: bass; Matt Wilson: drums.

Record Label: Jazzheads


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