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; Its Surely Gonna Flop If It Aint Got That Bop; Mary Anne; Tetemeterri; Dr. Midnight; Odd Couple; China Cat Sunflower.

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

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Delmark Records | Style: Funk/Groove


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Chapters Of My Life" CD/LP/Track Review Chapters Of My Life
by James Nadal
Published: March 16, 2016
Read "Undertaker Please Drive Slow" CD/LP/Track Review Undertaker Please Drive Slow
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 15, 2017
Read "Saints and Sinners" CD/LP/Track Review Saints and Sinners
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 30, 2016
Read "Hank Mobley" CD/LP/Track Review Hank Mobley
by Greg Simmons
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "Ensam" CD/LP/Track Review Ensam
by Ian Patterson
Published: August 26, 2016
Read "The Real Deal" CD/LP/Track Review The Real Deal
by James Nadal
Published: June 12, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!