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Bob Brough, a veteran Toronto saxophonist, has produced his first solo album after appearing on 20 recording dates. With the exception of John Lewis' "Afternoon in Paris," he provides nine original compositions documented by three separate groups recorded in 2001 and 2003.
I can say this about Brough's playing: I did not tire at all listening to him blowing for 74 minutes. To these untrained ears, the nine tracks sound like modal compositions, and if you were comfortable with the Atlantic Coltrane period of the early '60s, you'll find some comfort here. He also gives a very credible soprano sax reading on "All Ways Lovely." The album opens with an up-tempo "Interior" and continues with "Sweet Jessica." On the latter, Brough builds a nice head of steam up in his solo followed by Fomin on piano and Roth's bass.
"Daisy" is an attractive ballad played soulfully by Brough on tenor. Another ballad, "Lullabye" starts with an unaccompanied Brough, then with added piano and then per a heavy backbeat from Mark Adams' drums, turns this number into something that sounds like an instrumental version of a Top 40 power ballad. Carol McCartney appears to sing Brough's original lyrics on the closing track, "Today."
The somewhat confusing personnel changes seem attributable to the three separate recording venues. Brough's working group today consists of Stan Fomin, piano; Artie Roth, bass; and Kevin Brow, drums.
Track Listing: Interior, Sweet Jessica, Daisy, Iles Du Salut, Remember Rio, An Afternoon in Paris, Lullabye, Riyaz, All Ways Lovely, Today.
Personnel: Bob Brough, tenor and soprano sax; Mark Zaret, Stan Fomin or Adrean Farrugia,piano; Michael Downes, Chris Jennings or Artie Roth,bass; Bob McLaren, Mark Adams, Barry Remberg or Kevin Brow,drums; Carol McCartney,vocal(Today).
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.