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The New Vision Sax Ensemble: Musical Journey Through Time

Roger Farbey By

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Hailing from South Florida, this enterprising quartet was instigated by baritonist Melton R. Mustafa in 1999. There aren't actually that many saxophone-only quartets around, although 29th Street Saxophone Quartet and World Saxophone Quartet are two that spring to mind, and both had an influence on this quartet.

Aside from the lively interpretation of Bobby Watson's "Conservation," from his album Tailor Made, the remaining eight numbers on this CD are standards or songs from the Great American Songbook. Dizzy Gillespie's "A Night In Tunisia" is tackled with aplomb and Monk's "Round Midnight" is elegant and enhanced by Diron Holloway's plaintive alto solo.

The longest track features selections from George Gershwin's Porgy And Bess including the obligatory but nonetheless enchanting "Summertime." Richard Rogers's "My Favourite Things," irresistible as a saxophone piece post-Coltrane, is given a satisfyingly delicate touch as is the upbeat Leonard Bernstein classic "I Feel Pretty." The set concludes with the hymn "Amazing Grace" and sounds just as if its composer John Newton could have written it with this quartet in mind.

Any group which manages to expertly and engagingly execute numbers such as this selection, without the assistance of a rhythm section, must be admired. The timings are surgically precise and the arrangements are tasteful and sensitive. These four saxophonists present well-known and well-loved numbers in a new and vibrant context and this album therefore warrants justifiable praise.

Track Listing: Conservation; A Night In Tunisia; Won’t You Come Home, B. Bailey; Round Midnight; Selections From Porgy And Bess; My Favourite Things; I Feel Pretty; Scot Joplin Portrait; Amazing Grace.

Personnel: Diron Holloway: soprano, alto saxophones, clarinet; James Lockhart: alto saxophone; Jason Hainsworth: tenor saxophone; Melton R. Mustafa: baritone saxophone.

Title: Musical Journey Through Time | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Self Produced

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