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TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five With Benjamin Drazen

Read "Take Five With Benjamin Drazen" reviewed by Benjamin Drazen

Meet Benjamin Drazen: Benjamin Drazen is a native New Yorker, and grew up in Roslyn, NY. He got his frist great jazz saxophone education from the late great Dave Burns. (Dave was a master trumpeter with the Dizzy Gillespie and Duke Ellington Orchestras as well as leading his own groups) A graduate of the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music, Drazen studied with such legends as Jimmy Giuffre, George Garzone, John McNeil, and Cecil McBee. He also studied ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Benjamin Drazen: Inner Flights

Read "Inner Flights" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Alto and soprano saxophonist Benjamin Drazen's smashing debut recording as a leader contains all of the essential ingredients for a meaningful mainstream jazz record. The leader's seven original compositions are a diverse, substantial, and pleasantly familiar lot. Drazen and pianist Jon Davis, the disc's primary soloists, play in the moment and think their way through improvisations instead of endlessly spewing licks mastered in the practice room. The rhythm section, comprised of Davis, bassist Carlo DeRosa, and drummer Eric McPherson, evinces ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Benjamin Drazen: Inner Flights

Read "Inner Flights" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

Inside Benjamin Drazen is an old soul, nestling cheek-by-jowl in a fertile mind, brimful with new ideas that undulate and flow beautifully from his alto saxophone. That he is able to take control of this force, and harness its power to open a virtual door to the temple of his muses--running the gamut of saxophonists from Charlie Parker to John Coltrane, and almost certainly including the mighty Johnny Hodges--speaks volumes about his mature craftsmanship. He has something else that shines ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Benjamin Drazen: Inner Flights

Read "Inner Flights" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Benjamin Drazen has been on the New York scene for over 15 years, working with established players including Lew Soloff, George Garzone and Rashied Ali. The saxophonist cannot be accused of being in a hurry to get his name on a CD cover: a 15-year wait to release a debut is a lifetime in today's scene, where graduation can, all-too-often, take place after a young player's CD launch party. Inner Flights has been, however, worth the wait. Drazen and his ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Benjamin Drazen: Inner Flights

Read "Inner Flights" reviewed by A. Lienhard

Alto saxophonist Benjamin Drazen has been plying his trade around Manhattan's network of small jazz bars--places like 55 Bar, Smalls, and The Garage--for over a decade. At long last, the New York native unveils his debut outing, Inner Flights. In a program of mostly original music, Drazen consistently delivers strong post-Coltrane fire, with a sound that lies somewhere between Jackie McLean and Gary Bartz. Paired with Drazen, his band is a juggernaut, everyone possessed of the frenetic, driving pulse destined ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Benjamin Drazen: Inner Flights

Read "Inner Flights" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The peaceful, John Lennon-like face on the cover of Inner Flights is merely a mask. Behind that calm exterior is a musician with killer instincts and serious chops. Sure, saxophonist Benjamin Drazen can be calm and graceful when he wants to, as he is on Inner Flights' closing track, “Polka Dots And Moonbeams," but more often than not, Drazen takes to the skies in spectacularly soaring flights. On his debut album, Drazen dives head first into music ...


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