194

Jim Saltzman: Hidden Intentions

J Hunter By

Sign in to view read count
Jim Saltzman: Hidden Intentions An accomplished sideman (Dave Valentin, James Spaulding, Claudio Roditi) and a graduate of William Paterson University's acclaimed jazz studies program, woodwind multi-instrumentalist Jim Saltzman is a mainstay of the New York and Philadelphia jazz scenes. With a resume like his, the fact that Saltzman's playing is as self-assured as any national act is no surprise. The more pleasant surprise is the quality of the originals he brings to Hidden Intentions—all of them delivered by a hard-hitting quartet that thinks and moves as one.

The title track is a misnomer. There's nothing "hidden about the intentions of Saltzman and his mates on this delightfully aggressive opener. They're here to take some prisoners (or not), and they're going to do it by going out on the edge and finding out how far they can stretch the boundaries. Saltzman's tenor roars and howls over Quinn Blandford's high-energy drumming. Even when the band dials back for Pat Firth's glowing piano, the underlying tension Blandford and Jay Foote create is very, very sweet.

Even on "quiet tunes, Saltzman's quartet makes choices that eschew the road more traveled. Blandford's drums rumble like distant thunder on "In God's Country as Saltzman plays passionate, almost-romantic tenor, intimating at the course of love is fraught with peril. Firth switches to Fender Rhodes on "He Can't Open the Open Door, and his interplay with Foote's solid bass gives the piece a steady dose of funk as Saltzman's snake-charming soprano makes this quiet piece seem very electric. Saltzman takes the snake-charmer metaphor even further when he pulls out Native American flutes for the haunting intro to "Losing Sight ; Blandford plays tom-toms, adding to the tribal vibe.

Firth is Saltzman's foil and alter-ego, catching flies with honey while Saltzman snatches them out of the air. Firth's solo on "Losing Sight belies the tortured cries coming from Saltzman's flute. As tasty as his piano work is on the swinging "No Fault, Firth's Fender brings a real sting to "Open Door and "What May Come of This? Blandford's drums are the conscience of the band, keeping everybody's edge consistently sharp. Foote's solo on "Eclipse is the work of a leader, which he is; even so, he deftly folds into the unit to pour a quality foundation.

If anything, Saltzman's compositions are all about confronting hidden intentions with blatant honesty. Honesty must be the best policy, because Hidden Intentions is as honest as you're ever going to find. In an age where integrity usually runs second to marketability, Jim Saltzman takes the road less traveled. And that makes all the difference.


Track Listing: Hidden Intentions; He Can

Personnel: Jim Saltzman: tenor and soprano saxophones, bansuri, Native American flutes; Pat Firth: piano, Fender Rhodes; Jay Foote: bass; Quinn Blandford: drums.

Title: Hidden Intentions | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Jazz Excursion Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read The Romeo and Juliet Project CD/LP/Track Review The Romeo and Juliet Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Crystal Machine CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Machine
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Illuminations" CD/LP/Track Review Illuminations
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 24, 2016
Read "The Volume Surrounding the Task" CD/LP/Track Review The Volume Surrounding the Task
by John Eyles
Published: July 6, 2016
Read "2nd Thoughts" CD/LP/Track Review 2nd Thoughts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 8, 2017
Read "Tiptoe" CD/LP/Track Review Tiptoe
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 1, 2016
Read "Heavy Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Heavy Dance
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 14, 2017
Read "New Life" CD/LP/Track Review New Life
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 25, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.