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So Much Good Jazz! I have enjoyed a spate of exceptional recordings crossing my desk recently. Several Steeplechase recordings have been in this spate. Ali Girl is a 1997 quartet recording led by multi-reedist Larry Schneider. Schneider is a journeyman saxophonist who has played stints with Horace Silver and the Charles Mingus Band. Generally concentrating on tenor, Schneider is also accomplished on the soprano saxophone. On this recording Schneider employs and guitar-based rhythm section lead by Dave Stryker that provides a soft base for primarily a soprano outing. Of the six pieces present, Schneider plays soprano on four and tenor on the remainder. “Skylark” and “I’m Old Fashioned” are good examples of Schneider’s lyrical invention on the problem-child soprano. He cooks on the tenor led “The Way You Look Tonight”, which includes a most effective tenor-drums duet. Flugelhornist Sipiagin also solos and joins Schneider on his other tenor outing, Jimmy Van Heusen’s “I Thought About You”. Jay Anderson and Billy Drummond firmly ground the swing with Dave Stryker providing roundly fluid solos and support. Ali Girl is a sleeper well worth a listen by soprano fans.
Track Listing: Skylark; I
Personnel: Larry Schneider: Tenor and Soprano Saxophones; Dave Stryker: Guitar; Jay Anderson: Bass; Billy Drummond: Drums; Alexander Sipiagin.
I was first exposed to jazz as a middle school band student. A college ensemble passed through and put on a concert for the band students (of which I was one). The level of mastery and musicianship blew me away, intimidated, and inspired me
I was first exposed to jazz as a middle school band student. A college ensemble passed through and put on a concert for the band students (of which I was one). The level of mastery and musicianship blew me away, intimidated, and inspired me. Try as I might, I was never able to achieve a high enough level of competency to perform at the level I was first and subsequently exposed to. Regardless, I was hooked on jazz and remain so to this day.