All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

2,129

Dave Glasser: Evolution

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Alto saxophonist Dave Glasser might have been born at the wrong time. While he is performing and recording some terrific music in the 21st century, his stylistic preferences lean heavily on the music of the 1940s and '50s. Glasser spent ample time over the past two-plus decades performing with Clark Terry, Illinois Jacquet, and Barry Harris, learning about this music from the men who were there. While he continues to use this knowledge on the bandstand, he also pays it forward as a teacher at the New School in Manhattan.

Glasser's bebop background has always popped up in his playing, but two specific musical figures loom large over the performances on Evolution. Three out of the eight tracks on this album are connected to Thelonious Monk. Glasser's "Monkish," which starts things off, sounds like a lost Monk composition with its quirky melodic DNA and rhythmic bounce. Pianist John Nyerges also tips his cap to Monk with "Monk's Blues." This piece begins with an open feeling, featuring waves of piano and cymbal along with some saxophone sighs. Nyerges ups the energy ante when he solos and throws in some speedy lines. Although this piece is more of a Monk tribute in name than style, it still provides plenty of thrills. After two Monk-titled pieces, Glasser finally gets to a composition by the man himself and delivers some killer saxophone soloing over drummer Rich Thompson on "Rhythm-a-ning."

While Glasser's Monk tributes are an overt expression of his fondness for the pianist's music, a more subtle tribute to Johnny Hodges is noticeable on the ballads. Glasser's musical mannerisms and tender, heart-wrenching tone are a direct reflection of Hodges' playing on so many Duke Ellington recordings. Glasser's own "Tranquility," featuring some beautiful harmonies and subtle bass work from Jeff Campbell, and "Blue Iridescence" seem to be written in the style of Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, and Glasser hits home runs with both these ballad performances.

Despite the fact that Glasser is an old soul in many ways, he shouldn't be mistaken for a nostalgia act. The tumbling dissonance, angular expressions, and raunchy saxophone sounds on "Minor Madness" are indications that Glasser isn't trapped in another era. Glasser might love the music of a different time and place, but he lives in the here and now and his playing and writing continue to evolve, as ably demonstrated on Evolution.

Track Listing: Monkish; Minor Madness; Tranquility; Monk's Blues; It Could Happen to You; Les Is More; Rhythm-a-ning; Blue Iridescence.

Personnel: Dave Glasser: alto saxophone; John Nyerges: piano; Jeff Campbell: bass; Rich Thompson: drums.

Title: Evolution | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Here Tiz Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Evolution

Evolution

Here Tiz Music
2010

buy
Above The Clouds

Above The Clouds

Arbors Records
2006

buy
Dreams Askew, Dreams Anew

Dreams Askew, Dreams...

Artemis Records
2002

buy
Uh! Oh!

Uh! Oh!

Nagel Heyer Records
2000

buy

Related Articles

Read Return to the Future CD/LP/Track Review
Return to the Future
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Telepathy CD/LP/Track Review
Telepathy
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 17, 2018
Read The Whole Thing Is Just There CD/LP/Track Review
The Whole Thing Is Just There
by John Bricker
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Haydn: Symphony No. 39, Symphony No. 87, Mozart – Sinfonia Concertante CD/LP/Track Review
Haydn: Symphony No. 39, Symphony No. 87, Mozart –...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Rogue Star CD/LP/Track Review
Rogue Star
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Out in the Open CD/LP/Track Review
Out in the Open
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 16, 2018
Read "Twinscapes Vol. 2: A Modern Approach To The Dancefloor" CD/LP/Track Review Twinscapes Vol. 2: A Modern Approach To The Dancefloor
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 15, 2018
Read "Book Of Sound" CD/LP/Track Review Book Of Sound
by Gareth Thompson
Published: December 8, 2017
Read "Alleviation" CD/LP/Track Review Alleviation
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 18, 2017
Read "Live at Pyatt Hall" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Pyatt Hall
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 23, 2018
Read "Trollskogen" CD/LP/Track Review Trollskogen
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: December 22, 2017
Read "Alive In The House Of Saints Part 1" CD/LP/Track Review Alive In The House Of Saints Part 1
by John Sharpe
Published: December 24, 2017