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The Jamie Saft Quartet: Hidden Corners

Dan McClenaghan By

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Saxophonist John Coltrane's spiritual side came to prominence with 1965's A Love Supreme (Impulse! Records), and that's how he rolled—with ever- increasing fervor—until the end, soaring out of the solar system with Stellar Regions (Impulse, 1967), and extending his reach deep into the galaxy with Interstellar Space (Impulse, 1967) in his search for his version of God. And now, pianist/keyboardist Jamie Saft—inspired by Jewish mysticism—gets his spiritual groove on with Hidden Corners.

Bolstering a growing and superb Rare Noise Records discography that began with 2014's The New Standard, Saft teams up this time with a terrific quartet— bassist Bradley Jones, drummer Hamid Drake, and saxophonist Dave Liebman, masters all in the taking of sounds to higher ground, and beyond.

The disc opens with a one/two blessing of "Positive Way" and "Seven are Double." And since the name John Coltrane has come up, it has to be noted that much of the music here- -especially these two tunes—brings the most famous of jazz saxophonist's recording Crescent (Impulse!, 1964) to mind, before things get more overtly spiritual, and "out there." On "Positive Way," the rhythm section lays down lush, smooth-flowing beauty, and Liebman—who has blown deeply into the work of Coltrane—spits out fire and brimstone tenor saxophone, growling and roaring, honking and sputtering, as if he's trying to pull the rest of the quartet into outer reaches, while they resist, laying down the (relative) tranquility and Zen equilibrium of '64 Trane. "Seven Are Double" is wilder on everyone's part ('67 Trane?), with Saft sounding like he's channeling Cecil Taylor.

On "Yesternight" Liebman switches to soprano saxophone, weaving labyrinthine lines inside a fluid rhythm, for a crafting of the set's more beautiful time spans. The disc's title tune takes a meditative route, and it swings free and easy, with Liebman crafting an eloquent saga, with a gorgeously restrained fervor.

The closer, "Landrace," finds Liebman on soprano horn, while pianist Saft goes mining for an edgy and elegant beauty with his piano, finding it.

Track Listing: Positive Way; Seven Are Double; Yesternight; 231 Gates; Turn At Every Moment; Hidden Corners; The Anteroom; Landrace.

Personnel: Jame Saft: piano; Dave Liebman: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute; Bradley Christopher Jones: acoustic bass; Hamid Drake: drums.

Title: Hidden Corners | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: RareNoiseRecords

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