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Jim Snidero: Crossfire

Ken Dryden By

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Since his days as a student at North Texas State University, alto saxophonist Jim Snidero has built quite a discography but this session, with his current working band of guitarist Paul Bollenback, bassist Paul Gill and drummer Billy Drummond, is a rare chance to hear him in a pianoless setting.

Crossfire is Snidero's 15th CD as a leader, with the bulk of the session focusing on his challenging originals. The title track is a solid opener, full of surprises, beginning with an infectious Latin rhythm, before briefly shifting into a punchy post-bop setting then a more conventional straight-ahead style, with Bollenback's exquisite, well-placed licks complementing the leader's expressive alto. "Lost" is a wistful ballad with an engaging call-and-response between Snidero and Bollenback while "One For You" is a slinky, soft bossa nova. The leader's lyrical setting of the standard "Time After Time" is a strutting affair in which his effervescent alto bubbles with creativity, while the breezy take of "Somewhere in the Night" (written for the old television series Naked City) is also an inspired choice. The one standard is Herbie Hancock's "One Finger Snap," though the lack of a piano is not an issue. The quartet masters the intricate theme, Gill and Drummond providing a driving undercurrent. It seems unlikely that Snidero will be utilizing piano on his next record date, given the fireworks produced with this one.

Track Listing: Crossfire; Tranquility; Vortex; Lost; Time After Time; Big "T"; One For You; Somewhere In The Night; One Finger Snap.

Personnel: Jim Snidero: alto saxophone; Paul Bollenback: guitar; Paul Gill: bass; Billy Drummond: drums.

Title: Crossfire | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Savant Records

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