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Eric Kloss: About Time

C. Andrew Hovan By

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No better title could have been placed on this disc because it certainly was “about time” that saxophonist Eric Kloss’ first two Prestige albums come back into circulation after years of purgatory. All of just 16 years old when Kloss cut his first album in 1965 ( Introducing Eric Kloss ), the maturity displayed is still staggering even after all these years. In fact, the album might still be one of the most impressive debut sets ever cut by a jazz artist in the modern history of the music. Just listen to Eric’s alto spot on “Old Folks,” full of Stitt-like inflections to be sure, but sill daring enough to tackle the extreme upper register foray that brings the rendition to a startling conclusion. Then for more proof, “’S’Bout Time” finds Kloss exploring the complete range of his tenor horn, with rapid passages that clearly reveal his technical brilliance.

The other album that makes up this two-fer, Love and All That Jazz, comes from 1966 and would be Eric’s sophomore effort for Prestige. It too features organist Don Patterson and his trio, save for two cuts that find Groove Holmes at the B3. Kloss again works out on alto and tenor saxophones and the results are equally compelling. What really ties it all together is the way that Kloss manages to make the organ trio format move beyond merely the routine. He does this by taking the lead from Coltrane and other forward thinkers in his own solo work. He doesn’t copy, because even at this early stage Kloss sounds very much like his own person, but he stretches himself by taking risks. Not all of them pay off, but the majority of them do. In the end, what more could you ask from a jazz artist, let alone one who was barely into his teens?

Track Listing: Close Your Eyes, Old Folks, 'S 'Bout Time, That's the Way It Is, All Blues, Embraceable You, You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To, Just for Fun-K, No Blues, Love for Sale, I'm Glad There Is You, The Shadow of Your Smile, Gemini

Personnel: Eric Kloss (alto and tenor saxophone)with Don Patterson, Pat Martino, Billy James, Vinnie Corrao, Richard "Groove" Holmes, Gene Edwards, Grady Tate

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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