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Lincoln Adler: Are You In There?

Jim Santella By

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Saxophonist Lincoln Adler brings out our best memories of Eddie Harris and a lot more on his latest album. Opting for the tenor sax throughout, Adler "never raises his voice," as he clears the air with mainstream jazz that is both "out there" and smooth. Three of the tracks may be sampled from http://www.LincolnAdler.com . Adler, who grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and attended the University of California at Berkeley, lists Joe Henderson among his formal saxophone teachers. Currently working with the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra in Los Angeles, Adler rides with a high band profile that draws guest artists such as trumpeter Jack Sheldon, saxophonist Tom Scott and vocalists Jon Lovitz & Jim Carrey. The orchestra’s pianist is actor Jeff Goldblum. Imagine the wave of attention that must accompany such a band!

Adler’s compositions light fires and settle his ensemble into a groove that shines with mainstream substance and added funkiness. Yes, funk, as the titles "Listen Up," "Hipnotic Suggestion" and "Mmm Hmm!" imply. Ernest Tibbs’ electric bass pops and the guitar harmony of either Anthony Wilson or Rick Musallam balances, as the leader’s tenor melodies take off. Two ballads with widely different approaches employ the services of drummer David Tull and bassist Tim Emmons. "You Don’t Know What Love Is" appears suave and sexy with guest vocalist Moira Dahling, while "Look for the Silver Lining" turns a lyrical corner with Adler singing. His smooth bass voice is half singing and half speaking in a warm and mellow tone which tends to keep the arrangement both serious and sincere. While the title track takes a purist nonchalant mainstream approach, others, such as Adler’s "Mysteriosa," combine a healthy riff with combined horn melodies for added variety. The saxophonist’s eclectic program contains a little of something for everyone, but his look back at jazz that rocked a listener in his chair serves to put a light of recognition in today’s fragmented jazz window.


Track Listing: Listen Up; Mysteriosa; You Don

Personnel: Lincoln Adler- tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, bass clarinet, vocal on "Look for the Silver Lining"; John Beasley- keyboards; Tim Emmons- acoustic bass; Ernest Tibbs- electric bass; David Tull- drums; Rick Musallam- guitars; Nick Lane- trombone; Moira Dahling- vocal on "You Don

Title: Are You In There? | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Groove Tonic Media

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