New York based saxophonist Dmitry Baevsky's fourth release as a leaderOver and Out finds the St Petersburg native in a spare setting backed only by bass and drums. With his alto's warm, organic tone in the spotlight, Baevsky interprets a mixture of his originals and standards with intense lyricism and confident and mature bravado.
Baevsky endows pianist Cedar Walton's "Turquoise" with an eastern mysticism as his warm, languid saxophone meanders fantastically around the main theme. His clever improvisation drips with poetry and his melodic exchanges with drummer Joe Strasser's thrilling and whimsical rumble add a layer of intrigue to the tune.
Strasser's thunderous beats burst to the surface on the energetic and fiery title track. Baevsky's blistering notes flood his own composition with feverish spontaneity and boppish virtuosity. Bassist David Wong anchors the delightfully stormy music with his complex walking lines.
Wong takes a melancholic and mellifluous solo on pianist Ray Bryant's "Reflection." Baevsky's agile and muscular extemporization intricately constructs passionate and inventive harmonic structures around the main motif simultaneously transforming it yet staying true to its spirit.
The respectful deconstruction of well known tunes their infusion with a fresh perspective without compromise of their essence is something Baevsky does well. It allows him to craft a cohesive album with such diverse pieces as pianist Thelonious Monk's "Brilliant Corners" and multi-instrumentalist Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Chega de Saudade."
Monk's splendid classic Baevsky interprets with a haunting and ethereal angularity, laying down vibrant and crystalline phrases. A contemplative and sublime duet between Wong and Strasser ushers in the conclusion.
Baevsky burns through the breezy effervescence of Jobim's popular song with ardent vigor but also with deep sensitivity without losing sight of Bossa Nova's playful romanticism. Strasser and Wong weave a percolating rhythmic backdrop peppered with Brazilian hints.
With this stimulating record Baevsky proves himself a superbly well-rounded musician. Solidly mainstream yet boldly explorative Over and Out is a captivating work, full of elegant charm and vivid excitement. Despite the finality of its title's colloquial meaning hopefully Baevsky will continue on this brilliantly creative path
Poinciana; Reflection; Over and Out; Chega de Saudade; Brilliant Corners; The Feeling of
Jazz; In the Know; Turquoise; Tonight I Shall Sleep (With a Smile on My Face); Circus;
Silver Screen; Stranger in Paradise.
Dmitry Baevsky: alto sax; David Wong: bass; Joe Strasser: drums.
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