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Jim Snidero: Far Far Away


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Jim Snidero: Far Far Away
There are many reasons for recording a jazz album, from "let's get together and create something fresh and exciting" to "well, it's about time we recorded another album." With all due respect, alto saxophonist Jim Snidero's latest recording, Far Far Away, seems to lean more toward the latter. That is not to suggest that it is less than respectable, as nothing Snidero does dips below that benchmark.

On the other hand, at times it does seem as though Snidero and his talented sidemen are simply going through the motions, even though the music itself is by and large credible. In spite of their most scrupulous designs, there is nothing here that really reaches out as if to say, "hey, listen to this!"—except perhaps McCoy Tyner's tender ballad, "Search for Peace," which precedes the album's last number, the sunny "Little Falls."

There is another small yet insistent hindrance, one that cannot be brushed aside or overlooked; although Snidero has had great success leading a quartet, he (or someone) decided it could be to their advantage to add a fifth player to the mix, namely guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel. Ordinarily, that would have worked well, as Rosenwinkel is a world-class musician with impeccable credentials. However, here his guitar is so diaphanous and reverberant it sounds like an electric wind instrument. While some listeners may consider that acceptable, others may well prefer the sound of actual guitar strings being plucked.

Snidero wrote six of the album's eight themes. The others are "Search for Peace" and the Rodgers and Hammerstein standard, "It Might as Well Be Spring" (played at an unusually slumberous pace). Snidero solos well on every number (he could do nothing less) but even his best ideas are a measure or so removed from memorable. The same can be said of Rosenwinkel, while the rhythm section—pianist Orrin Evans, bassist Peter Washington, drummer Joe Farnsworth—is alert and efficient. In spite of its defects, Far Far Away is neither indifferent nor unpleasant; in fact, there are moments when it readily surpasses expectations. Still, the feeling persists that it could have been appreciably better.

Track Listing

Far Far Away; Infinity; It Might As Well Be Spring; Nowhere To Hide; Obsession; Pat; Search For Peace; Little Falls.


Jim Snidero: saxophone, alto; Kurt Rosenwinkel: guitar; Orrin Evans: piano; Peter Washington: bass; Joe Farnsworth: drums.

Album information

Title: Far Far Away | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Savant Records

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