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Alex Hitchcock: Dream Band

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Alex Hitchcock: Dream Band
Alex Hitchcock has a lot of energy and a lot of ideas; four recordings have apparently left him in no danger of running out. Clearly it helps to have met plenty of friends and collaborators along the way. Besides the mutual inspiration that arises between generous players, he knows he will probably have a voice available (instrumental or literal) for just about any germ of a song that arises. Where each previous recording revolved around a single lineup, the cast of Dream Band is really a different band for practically every piece.

Hitchcock's program here is a sprawlingly ambitious one where practically every track calls for something different. His saxophone can fit into a bustling septet or playfully stretch out in a simple trio with bass and drums. Surprisingly, the outing begins with a vocal number, smoothly crooned with a cleverly shifting irregular groove underneath; Midori Jaeger provides some subtly rich cello alongside her vocals. As inviting as that opener is, the light-bop duet "Azalea" makes an arguably more charming highlight mid-set with just cello, sax and voice.

Dream Band impressively keeps a certain feel through whatever permutations arise. Hitchcock has a flair for grooves that flow despite their trickiness, while his bouncy and playful spirit pervades the jaunty interplay among the whole cast. Brisk-driving waltz, bongo-tinged capering, thoughtful ballad building to soaring finish with room for upbeat scatting—there is room for everything in Hitchcock's wheelhouse. While his sax playing has dazzled listeners for years by tastefully packing in a wide range of everything, it is a fun step to hear his compositional mind stretching in much the same way.

Track Listing

Wolf and Nina; Yeshaya; Intro; To Love Itself; Outro. FSTL; Move 37; Azalea; Embers; Overcome Any Obstacle with a Horse; Simulacra; And Then.

Personnel

Album information

Title: Dream Band | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent


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