This modern mainstream band is a trio: Anton Denner plays alto saxophone and flute, Bill Carrothers is the pianist, and Bill Stewart provides the drum and percussion flavorings. Carrothers is an experienced composer, as well, contributing several pieces to this session. Stewart provides ample percussive variety, blending well with the other two band members, and contributing several of his own compositions. He and Carrothers teamed up in `95 and `97 for Stewart's well-regarded albums Snide Remarks
. Denner's light and dry tone on both instruments matches Stewart's percussion colorings and balances the trio's three-way approach.
On Carrothers' composition "Waltz Macabre" the piano provides a bass line and reinforces the quirky alto saxophone melody. Carrothers and Denner each spin well-formed solos. The pianist builds a deep and dramatic harmonic structure behind Denner's saxophone presentation of the familiar melody on "You Go To My Head" - it's an intricately-crafted arrangement. The standard jazz ballad "Body And Soul" is presented beautifully by Denner; his soothing alto saxophone is backed by an interesting array of sounds. The traditional anthem "Dixie" is presented by the trio in a dirge-like swirling fashion, providing an aural image of the soldiers who returned to their homes after America's Civil War, somewhat changed after their experiences. More imagery is provided, as Bill Stewart's "4:30 AM" provides a picture of one arising half-asleep and somewhat disoriented, his "Space Acres" offers weightless flute melodies and a directionless background, his "Think Before You Think" reminds that one must sometimes mark time before committing to action, and the drummer's "7.5" puts a little zip into the music's time signature. Bridge Boy Music is not a major label; should this album prove hard to find, you can find complete information on Bill Carrothers' at hisweb site . Recommended.
Track Listing: Puttin' On The Ritz; 4:30 AM; Waltz Macabre; Body And Soul;Think Before You Think; You Go To My Head; Space Acres; Epilogue 1; 7.5; Epilogue 2; Dixie.