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February 2003

Glenn Astarita By

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Christopher Adler Trio


Pianist Christopher Adler leads his modern jazz/free improvisational trio thru three lengthy pieces, brimming with climactically oriented crescendos, circular movements and swirling progressions. Woodwinds specialist Alan Lechusza and drummer Vikas Srivastava provide a burly yet altogether penetrating attack, as they often regenerate previously explored passages. The band swerves through fervent rhythmic structures via a no nonsense mode of execution. This hard-edged stuff rarely lets up!

Big Fun

Bill Evans

ESC Records

Saxophonist Bill Evans pursues a contemporary jazz tinted, funk-induced set featuring prominent session musicians such as drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, guitarist Hiram Bullock and others. There aren’t that many surprises, yet vocalist Willie Nelson joins the band for a wonderful rendition of Stephen Stills’ rock classic, “For What It’s Worth.” This outing also features vocalist Les McCann performing on two pieces. Hence, a top-notch party album, marked by Evans’ blithe arrangements and zesty grooves.

Six Of One

Evan Parker

PSI Records

Recorded in 1980 at St. Judes on the Hill, London and originally released on LP, this recording features Parker at his best, performing exclusively on the soprano saxophone. The artist’s Herculean technique is radiantly captured here, as he often works things into a mesmerizing tailspin. While his polytonal voicings and intricate progressions are a source of amazement. More importantly, Parker’s music often takes you into the mysterious regions of the mind’s eye.


Gerry Hemingway

Between The Lines

The drummer’s latest effort represents a significant departure from what we are accustomed to. His longtime musical associates such as saxophonist Ellery Eskelin, trombonist Wolter Wierbos and guitarist James Emery lend a helping hand here. Many of these works feature vocalist Lisa Sokolov, amid the leader’s drumming and sampler-based meanderings. Hemingway’s frequent collaborator - analog synth whiz Thomas Lehn adds some abstract effects to this affair consisting of funk rhythms, avant-rock and jazz improv. Some of it works rather nicely, although the entire production rings more like a musical research and development project.

The Shadow Of The Cat

Gato Barbieri

Peak Records

With his 50th release, and now seventy-years old, saxophonist Gato Barbieri still possesses the goods that earned him immense popularity back in the 70s and onward. This slickly produced engagement features trumpeter/entrepreneur Herb Alpert bassist Mark Egan and a consortium of well-known session aces. Barbieri’s Latin drenched romanticism is in high gear, via an update of his infamous, “Last Tango,” and twelve tracks in total. Barbieri’s palate spans groove oriented backbeats amid producer/keyboardist Jason Miles airy treatments. Either way, “El Gato” returns to the scene in high-spirited fashion.

Wilde Senoritas & Hexensabbat

Irene Schweizer


This newly issued 2-CD set by the great Swiss modern/free-jazz pianist Irene Schweizer represents the original 1977 ( Wilde Senoritas ) and 1979 ( Hexensabbat ) “FMP” LPs. Also included is Patrik Landolt’s recent interview with a pianist who has released a significant body of work for this wonderful Switzerland-based record label. Ms Schweizer injects rhythmic elements into an all-embracing scope of manipulations, such as jagged free-style chord clusters and multifarious harmonic structures. Nonetheless, she’s a modern jazz treasure who deserves a bit more recognition here in the States.


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