166

Sabertooth: Dr. Midnight

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Sabertooth: Dr. Midnight New York City has The Village Vanguard, The Blue Note and Birdland and can boast being home to scores of famous jazz musicians, but America's Second City, Chicago also has a storied history that includes the famous Green Mill Cocktail Lounge.

Chicago also includes, among its children, some of the most distinctive jazz talent performing, including Patricia Barber, Kurt Elling, Anthony Braxton, Ari Brown, Ted Sirota, and Von Freeman. All have made their way to the Green Mill.

Sabertooth, a two-saxophone/organ quartet based in the Windy City, adds their name to the attractions list of the lounge. Dr. Midnight was recorded in performance June 23, 2007. Saxophonists Cameron Pfiffner and Pat Mallinger team up to form a tenor tandem along the lines of Johnny Griffin and Eddie "Lockjaw Davis or Sonny Stitt and Gene Ammons.

Sabertooth plays a wicked form of blues that could have only incubated in Chicago, where electricity came to the blues and improvisation came to jazz. Pete Benson pushes his B3 to the limit propelling this two saxophonists and drummer Ted Sirota into hyperspace with the most electrifying, organic, and low-fidelity music a weary rap victim could ever hope for.

It is the blues that starts this disc, one written by Mallinger for his partner Pfiffner. The band explores the twelve bars thoroughly, shifting through crescendo after crescendo, milking all of the dynamics offered by such a fruitful musical loam. Sirota proves the master of the bombastic rim shot, dropping missile after missile into the performance fire zone.

"It's Surely Gonna Flop If It Ain't Got That Bop is exactly what the title implies, pure bebop. Composer Mallinger assembles a head of such complexity to make even Charlie Parker break a sweat. Pfiffner's "Dr. Midnight is beautifully strange. The piece demonstrates the band's sense of humor and sounds oddly like a Hebraic funeral march.


Track Listing: Blues for C Piff; It

Personnel: Cameron Pfiffner: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute, piccolo; Pat Mallinger: tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, Native American flute; Pete Benson: Hammond B3 organ; Ted Sirota: drums.

Title: Dr. Midnight | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Delmark Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read The Crave CD/LP/Track Review The Crave
by John Sharpe
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub) CD/LP/Track Review Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub)
by Joe Gatto
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965 CD/LP/Track Review Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965
by Doug Collette
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "Intenso!" CD/LP/Track Review Intenso!
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 7, 2016
Read "The Organ Grinder" CD/LP/Track Review The Organ Grinder
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "Alcanza" CD/LP/Track Review Alcanza
by Troy Dostert
Published: May 25, 2017
Read "Living Water" CD/LP/Track Review Living Water
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 15, 2017
Read "Flowers" CD/LP/Track Review Flowers
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 19, 2016
Read "Goodbye Red Rose (2008/9)" CD/LP/Track Review Goodbye Red Rose (2008/9)
by John Eyles
Published: October 16, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.