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The Mass: Collective Identity

Glenn Astarita By

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The all saxophone quartet, “Collective Identity” was formed due to woodwind specialist Alex Harding’s affinity for the world renowned “World Saxophone Quartet” as this band also features Sam Newsome, Jorge Sylvester and Aaron Stewart. And while the results are somewhat mixed, the band turns in a multidimensional rendition of Wayne Shorter’s classic, “Nefertiti” as they expound upon the primary theme yet also execute spiked choruses amid fervent interplay and a wavering pulse. Baritone saxophonist Alex Harding anchors the odd-metered pulse on the thirteen-minute piece titled, “The World According To Shaquana Goldstein” amid the quartet’s rapid-fire soloing and soft underpinnings yet midway the flow becomes a bit disjointed or blurred. Here, the musicians engage in a haze of boisterous dialogue and scathing lines yet the material at hand takes on the auspices of fragmented themes stitched together which at times, makes for a difficult listening experience. However, the band executes a bluesy theme via fluid, expressive soloing on “Spirit Take My Hand” whereas, the title track, The Mass seems a bit superfluous in spots yet is accented by somber, diminutive themes and lilting choruses.

Overall, the saxophonists perform with passionate fire and emotive enthusiasm and despite a few amorphous segments, these gentlemen pull out the stops on more than one occasion, primarily due to tenacious soloing and a conveyance of joyous sentiment.

* * * (out of * * * * *)


Personnel:

Sam Newsome; Soprano Sax: Jorge Sylvester; Alto Sax: Aaron Stewart; Tenor sax: Alex Harding; Baritone Sax.

Track listing; 1) The World According to Shaquana Goldstein 2) The Mass 3) Remembranza 4) Nefertiti 5) Young Lions In The Meat Market 6) Spirit Take My Hand

(Palmetto Records)

Title: Collective Identity | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Palmetto Records


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