Live Music. To my mind, this is the first club-date live recording captured by Naxos Jazz. Tenor saxophonist Martin Krusche made a pilgrimage to New Orleans to cut a live set at the famous Snug Harbor with some of New Orleans' own, most notably, Nicholas Payton. Mostly an original composition recital, Friendship Pagoda is an amiable collection of Post Bop, played by an empathetic group of musicians who obviously enjoyed their interaction. From the angular anxiety of "Phoenix" to the ballad musing of Stray's "Chelsea Bridge", Friendship Pagoda delivers a solid look at an emerging tenor talent. Krusche's tone and attack betrays a broad experience that draws from most all of the non-Coltrane influenced tenorists. Listen closely and one can hear bits and snatches of Getz, Sims, and Webster. And, of course, Sonny Rollins. Friendship Pagoda is another satisfying new jazz release from Naxos Jazz.
Track Listing: Phoenix; southern Belles; Chelsea Bridge; I'd Like To Sing; Bad Breakfast; Fatima; The Night Has a Thousand Eyes. (Total Time: 71:49)
Personnel: Martin Krusche: Tenor Saxophone; Nicholas Payton: Trumpet; Victor Atkins: Piano; David Pulphus: Bass; Geoff Clapp: Drums.
I was first exposed to jazz while working overseas in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I would listen to the Voice of America on the radio and they had a nightly jazz program on at 10:00pm. I learned a lot about jazz listening to this program. I also had a friend who listened to real jazz by artists like Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy and Archie Shepp. On my way home from Africa I landed in New York and had the opportunity to see the George Adams/Don Pullen quartet at the Village Vanguard as well as Kenny Barron and Ron Carter at another club, and was in heaven.