Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

3

Sam Sadigursky: Follow The Stick

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
After spending nearly ten years with the four Words Project albums (see here, here and here for three of them), reedman and multi-instrumentalist Sam Sadigursky has decided to concentrate on clarinet, returning to purely instrumental music with Follow The Stick.

Starting initially with a trio comprised of pianist Bobby Avey (who work with Dave Liebman's latest group is stellar; see Samsara , and The Puzzle) and drummer Jordan Perlson, the group was expanded to include vibraphonist Chris Dingman. In today's times, the clarinet ("the stick") gets no respect as a jazz instrument, whereas back in the Swing Era, three of the most popular Big Bands, that of Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and Woody Herman were led by stellar clarinet players. The first two also led smaller groups which included vibes, so adding vibes was something in Sadigursky's ears already. Trumpeter Jason Palmer (heard most recently on Noah Preminger's live album, The Pivot).

The clarinet is a notoriously difficult instrument to master throughout its range. The "stick" in the band and album name refers not only to the clarinet, but also to a conductor's baton, and so the title/name has a sense of "follow the leader" about it, but this is more than a little tongue-in-cheek.

The pieces are mostly originals, using a mix of newly composed pieces and older pieces which Sadigursky brought to like, but there is also an extremely interesting arrangement of the Jerry Gray/Glenn Miller gigantic hit, "String Of Pearls." The stylistic range, as well as the emotional range, is quite wide and, with the tracks taken as as a set, provide a very satisfying listening experience.

The overall impression is of a very tight band whose members are given much freedom within the structure of each piece. Avery feels like the core of the group, supporting both it and the leader. The bass is not missed one bit as Avery's strong left hand fills the bottom. Dingman is excellent and supplements Avery without colliding with him. Palmer adds a second lead voice to four tracks with his wonderfully soft, but full trumpet sound.

Upbeat tunes ("Fast Money," the odd "String Of Pearls" and especially "Do The Dance") dominate the first half of the record, with "Austerity Measures" and "Looks Can Be Deceiving" providing a counterbalance by slowing things down and intensifying the emotional content. The second half contains "Deadly Sins" and "Math Music" which are both new compositions which explore compositional techniques that create a more heady feeling. However "Heart," the longest track is achingly beautiful and ethereal, floating on the sounds of Avery and Dingman, with Sadigursky laying down the very pretty melody in the lower register to begin.

With excellent compositions and fine playing by the band, Follow The Stick is extremely enjoyable again and again.

Track Listing: Fast Money; String of Pearls; 3+2; Mule; Do The Dance; Austerity Measures; Looks Can Be Deceiving; Reach; Life's Flowering; Deadly Sins; Touché; Heart; Math Music.

Personnel: Sam Sadigursky: clarinet, bass clarinet; Chris Dingman: vibraphone, marimba; Bobby Avey: piano; Jordan Perlson: drums, percussion; Jason Palmer: trumpet (2, 5, 9, 13); Ljova: viola (7).

Title: Follow The Stick | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Take Five With...
Extended Analysis
Megaphone
Read more articles
Follow The Stick

Follow The Stick

Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records
2016

buy
Follow The Stick

Follow The Stick

Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records
2015

buy
Words Project III Miniatures

Words Project III...

New Amsterdam Records
2010

buy
Words Project II

Words Project II

New Amsterdam Records
2008

buy
The Words Project

The Words Project

New Amsterdam Records
2008

buy
Sam Sadigursky: The Words Project

Sam Sadigursky: The...

New Amsterdam Records
2007

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
May25Sat
The Jamie Baum Septet+
The Cell Theatre
New York, NY
$15

Related Articles

Read When Will The Blues Leave Album Reviews
When Will The Blues Leave
By Karl Ackermann
May 22, 2019
Read Crowded Heart Album Reviews
Crowded Heart
By Dan Bilawsky
May 22, 2019
Read Infinite Itinerant Album Reviews
Infinite Itinerant
By Geno Thackara
May 22, 2019
Read Pulcino Album Reviews
Pulcino
By Nicholas F. Mondello
May 22, 2019
Read Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances Album Reviews
Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances
By Dan McClenaghan
May 21, 2019
Read That's a Computer Album Reviews
That's a Computer
By Jerome Wilson
May 21, 2019
Read All I Do Is Bleed Album Reviews
All I Do Is Bleed
By Paul Naser
May 21, 2019