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David Borgo, with and Against, 1998


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I've been covering David Borgo's music on these pages with a number of postings (do a search in the search box to find the others). That's because I find him one of the important West Coast voices today, as tenor-soprano stylist and as composer-conceptualist. If I retrace steps today to go back to one of his first (if not THE first), it's because I find it a worthwhile listen, and also because it is still available on CD Baby. I refer to With and Against (Resurgent Music 123, 2-CDs). It's a quartet of David with David Ake, piano, Todd Sickafoose, bass, and Mark Ferber, drums. This is an excellent band and there is much to hear (in the studio for the first CD, live for the second).

If you follow David Borgo (or even if you don't) this gives you a blueprint for where he comes from as a musician-composer, and where ultimately is is going (or went). The band handles adroitly old Duke, Monk, modern jazz-funk, swinging left-of-center mainstream and flat-out-pretty-out music.

It also gives you a good handle on how this band-as-a-band can do just about anything convincingly. The rhythm section is primed and David Ake plays some definite piano. Ultimately it is a testament to David Borgo's versatility, poise and fire in any number of directions. This outing impresses. And it is one any jazz afficianado will dig.

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