A follow up to his highly-acclaimed debut album Clarity
(Pony Boy Records, 2010), saxophonist Dave Anderson presents his second foray into the modern jazz landscape but this time, adding a tinge of the blues with the artful and engaging Blue Innuendo
, offering a selection of original music that sizzles and swings from beginning to end. The title of the album is drawn from an original song penned and dedicated to the great organ master Joey DeFrancesco
after hearing the organist at the Blue Note in New York city. Ever since, Anderson had sought to write compositions for a new album that features the organ in bluesy light and this, his first New York recording, does so in stylish fashion.
Though still primarily a modern jazz set, Blue Innuendo
features the sounds of Anderson's hot tenor and soprano saxophone voices accompanied well by the magical sound of the Hammond B 3 organ in the very capable hands of jazz luminary Pat Bianchi
. Positioning the organ as a center-piece instrument in the band, provides a "blues inflection that comes with adding the organ to a jazz group," as this session quite accurately reflects, states the leader. Joining the saxophonist on this date are, Tom Guarna
on guitar and Matt Wilson
on the drums forging a piano-less and bass-less quartet that still manages to produce a powerful sound that's quite formidable.
The modern groove track "Urban Dilemma" starts the ball rolling with exemplary solo moments from the leader on the soprano saxophone, splashing cymbal accents from the drummer and the guitarist on a fast-pace upbeat tempo that features Bianchi on the first of many dicey phrases he will produce throughout the set. The bluesy feeling begins to emerge nicely on the boppish "12-Step Blues" where Anderson's flame throwing tenor heats up the music as Guarna and the organist follow in kind with their own steaming solos on one of the power tunes of the recording.
The tempo relaxes a bit on the mellow "Parallel Present" and turns soft on the warm balladic "Stuck," where Anderson turns on the charm with another gorgeous soprano solo before the band returns to their preferred musical state of swing with another outstanding performance on the perky Joe Henderson
-dedicated, "The Phantom." Wilson's powerful drumming takes center stage on the brief "Two-Tone Tune," prior to the title track which, is definitely one of the keepers of the set and defining piece of the album.
Unquestionably, one of the most remarkable saxophone voices on the jazz scene today, Dave Anderson designs another engaging statement on Blue Innuendo
, melding the voices of the saxophone and the organ with the modern and the blues, in a neatly wrapped musical package certain to resonate, once opened.