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David Schumacher: Endangered Species

Jim Santella By

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As the spice of life, variety plays a major role in David Schumacher's Summit debut. The baritone saxophonist enjoys a hearty organ combo ambience, along with tracks dedicated to Latin jazz, blues, straight-ahead jazz, and even a little hip-hop. His organ combos give the session a contemporary spirit that flows from tradition and remains timeless today.

Originally from Chicago and now based in New York, Schumacher began his professional career with in Lionel Hampton's big band. More mainstream jazz experience followed with Art Blakey's big band, Harry Connick, Jr.'s orchestra, T.S. Monk's ensemble, Tom Harrell's octet, Joe Lovano's nonet, and more. The Big Apple has opened doors for this baritone saxophonist with a big, burly sound and fiery technique.

Eight of his original compositions give the album a wide spectrum as he travels through a myriad of jazz subgenres with a personal zeal. Opening the umbrella far and wide, he's encompassed music from afar and gathered it all into one jazz bag.

Reciting his own poetry on three selections, Schumacher expresses the kinds of thoughts that we and his musical partners find prevalent on the contemporary jazz scene. "Don't judge," he says in a cool, gravel-filled voice with tenor saxophone accompaniment. "Observe." He speaks of "life left untasted" and calls for a "soulful insurrection" that will set us free. His music certainly bears that out as the baritone saxophonist grooves with deep feeling and romps with a comfortable rhythmic ease.

Arch's Nutty Variation features three stellar tenors; Jerry Weldon, Ned Goold, and Schumacher work together and stretch out individually. As the album's longest track, this one drives with a hearty straight-ahead approach that sizzles intensely.

Trombonist Robert Trowers serves as Schumacher's ally for the most part, along with organist Rob Bargad and drummer Jimmy Cobb. Together they bring this recommended session to a wider audience with welcome results. New York patrons can't continue to keep this guy to themselves. His wide-open approach smokes with an inner fire that spreads naturally. David Schumacher is contagious.


Track Listing: Too Tonal! Free! Dumb?; Henry

Personnel: David Schumacher: baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, spoken word; Rob Bargad: organ; Neil Caine: bass; Jimmy Cobb: drums; Robert Trowers: trombone; Ned Goold: tenor saxophone (5,10); Howard Johnson: baritone saxophone (6); Jerry Weldon: tenor saxophone (10); Ruben Rodriguez: electric bass (6); Sam

Title: Endangered Species | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Summit Records

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