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New York City-based tenor saxophonist Jerome Sabbagh has made the rounds by performing with a who's who of modern jazz artists amid his flourishing career as a solo artist. Possessing a stout tone and commanding presence, the artist's lyrically resplendent phraseology is often a good fit for a variety of jazz settings, including mainstream and the outside realm. With his acoustic-electric quartet, Sabbagh enjoys a notable affiliation with Belgian keyboard virtuoso Jozef Dumoulin, who spawns a polytonal, electronics vista, complete with subliminal surprises and a consortium of bizarre twists and turns. It's a frothy, upbeat set where progressive-jazz and nouveau electronics signal an acquiescent medium, fused by abstract expressionism and standard contexts.
"Jeli" is a luminous exponent of the musicians' resolve. With a frisky gait, abetted by the pulsating rhythms, Sabbagh's blustery and fluid lines paint a portrait of a breezy Caribbean seaside resort. Dumoulin's distortion-shaded electric piano and treatments, inject a rough-hewn element into the schema. Here, the musicians meld an edgy overtone into an otherworldly space via linear progressions and a hard-boiled finale, largely due to the keyboardist's off-kilter voicings and keen use of electronics processing. In this light, the quartet abides by a nonconforming stance, where familiar territory is shrewdly shadowed by inventive aberrations.
Personnel: Jerome Sabbagh: tenor saxophone; Jozef Dumoulin: Fender Rhodes and other keyboards; Patrice Blanchard: electric bass; Rudy Royston: drums.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.