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by Chris May
Baritone saxophonist Serge Chaloff lived a short, often ugly and painful life. A hard-line, nodding off, ankle-scratching junkie with bad personal hygiene problems, he died horribly at the age of 34. Yet he was a master of his cumbersome instrument and capable of creating music of extraordinary beauty.
Boston Blow-Up!, made in 1955 as part of bandleader Stan Kenton's Kenton Presents" series, is one of Chaloff's finest recordings. In some ways it's better even than the iconic Blue Serge, made ...read more
by Reid Thompson
One of only four available CD's by the unjustly overlooked Serge Chaloff, Blue Serge is a gorgeous, shimmering masterpiece that leaves one wondering why the baritone sax wasn't used much more often. Chaloff's complete mastery of the instrument combines a wide range with precisely executed bop lines and tender and effusive renderings of ballads. His effective use of dynamics and vibrato pierce the hearts of tunes like I've Got the World on a String" and Stairway to the Stars." Although ...read more