All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

141

Miami Saxophone Quartet: Live

By

Sign in to view read count
Nowadays it seems that jazz ensemble saxophone playing is thought of as part of either the marching brass band tradition or the avant-garde. Listening to the Miami Saxophone Quartet reminds me of a truncated version of Supersax. Although the latter group was a five sax unit augmented by trumpet and rhythm that specialized in performing the harmonic solos of Charlie Parker, MSQ utilizes the same principles for jazz, pop and original tunes.

This organization is comprised of four of the best sax men in South Florida. Ed Calle is a heavily recorded sideman with several sessions under his own name and was originally associated with the Miami Sound Machine (the Gloria Estefan band). Mike Brignola comes from the Woody Herman organization in the 1980s and is presumedly related to the late Nick Brignola. Gary Keller is a long term music educator with a well-received album of his own on Double Time with John Fedchock and Kenny Werner. Gary Lindsay has worked with the South Florida Latin music scene and singer Bobby Caldwell, and arranged for Christina Aguilera.

Although I would have preferred to hear more rhythm instruments throughout the album, MSQ has elected to utilize Latin percussion, piano, bass and drums at strategic moments. On "Mambo Influenciado," a tune that Chucho Valdes, Arturo Sandoval and Paquito D'Rivera recorded together, a Latin montuno is introduced after the reading of the melody, very effectively featuring Richard Bravo on bongos and conga. On "A Child Is Born," Richard Strange's piano introduces the Thad Jones jazz standard which is then followed by Brignola's bass clarinet and ends with a clarinet choir as arranged by Lindsay.

The liner notes liken MSQ's version of the Paul Simon song "Still Crazy After All These Years" as if were an R&B vocal ballad and, indeed, Ed Calle's alto sax does that job. Pat Metheny's "Sunlight," written about Rio de Janeiro, displays Keller and then Calle on very bluesy alto sax. The longest composition, "Scenes From the 'Hood," a lengthy Lindsay original, was influenced by Leonard Bernstein's music for West Side Story and uses Bergeron's bass and Hardman's drums as musical bookends to anchor shifting textures and moods.

It's not too wild a guess that reedmen will be most intrigued with this album. It is fascinating to follow the four lead instruments in their serpentine travels through the respective melody lines—and the live audience evidently agreed.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Fourtified

Fourtified

Fourtitude
2009

buy
Midnight Rumba

Midnight Rumba

Fourtitude
2005

buy
Live

Live

Fourtitude
2004

buy

Related Articles

Read My Singing Fingers CD/LP/Track Review
My Singing Fingers
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 25, 2018
Read Ain't It Grand? CD/LP/Track Review
Ain't It Grand?
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 25, 2018
Read If Not Now, When? CD/LP/Track Review
If Not Now, When?
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 25, 2018
Read Perfectly Unhappy CD/LP/Track Review
Perfectly Unhappy
by Gareth Thompson
Published: May 25, 2018
Read Sorrows & Triumphs CD/LP/Track Review
Sorrows & Triumphs
by Jerome Wilson
Published: May 25, 2018
Read Half Light CD/LP/Track Review
Half Light
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 24, 2018
Read "Proverbe" CD/LP/Track Review Proverbe
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 15, 2017
Read "No Secrets No Lies" CD/LP/Track Review No Secrets No Lies
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Taktlos Zurich 2017" CD/LP/Track Review Taktlos Zurich 2017
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 30, 2018
Read "For Those About To Jazz / Rock We Salute You" CD/LP/Track Review For Those About To Jazz / Rock We Salute You
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 11, 2017
Read "Chorando Sete Cores" CD/LP/Track Review Chorando Sete Cores
by Geannine Reid
Published: February 14, 2018
Read "Currents, Constellations" CD/LP/Track Review Currents, Constellations
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 14, 2018