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When Mike Tucker comes out swinging with "Fanfare, the expectations run high for Collage. Tucker does not disappoint in terms of the music, almost all of which he has composed, and also the playing of his tight and cohesive band. Tucker takes a variety of sounds and spins them into a convincing web. He plays with a calm authority, whether driving the insides of a bopping tune or filtering the gentility of a ballad. He certainly shows a lot of promise on this debut recording.
Trumpeter Eric Bloom comes in as a guest on the opener to interweave lines, hold a dizzying conversation, and have his own say. But bassist Hogyu Hwang and drummer Lee Fish set the irresistible and charming rhythmic tone on that first tune. Bloom has a fine sense of timing that he wraps in a slew of ideas and lights the fuse for Tucker, whose deep-toned ruminations push and swell the melody in a giddy rush.
The mood flips over for the "70's. This ballad quite simply glows, the fire kindled by Tucker, his lines long and warm. Leo Genovese adds another shade, all bristly and jumpy on the Fender Rhodes. The contrast sits in snugly. A bright, swaying "Double Mambo springs in before Tucker slows down to take the melody out and investigate its dynamics. His tone at times has a shade of Sonny Rollins, but he goes past that and brings in his own robust technique. And once again Genovese adds flighty contrast, this time on the piano.
Track Listing: Fanfare, Kathy, The Hey Man Tenor Club, 70's, New orleans, Bird Lives, Double Mambo, Sapce
Suite: Space #1 & Space #2; Mbira.
Personnel: Mike Tucker: saxophone; Lee Fish: drums and percussion; Leo Genovese: piano, Fender
Rhodes, sythesizer; Hogyu Hwang: bass.