234

Jerome Sabbagh: Pogo

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Jerome Sabbagh: Pogo Under a coolness that is felt on the surface of the music, saxophonist Jerome Sabbagh—on the fine release Pogo—creates a tension that is expertly controlled. Intent on developing a style that is personal and recognizable, Sabbagh composes and plays from a core that seems at first tightly controlled. However, that which seems to be reticence turns out to be but the origin of many fiery emotions.

Maintaining the same band as on North (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2005) guitarist Ben Monder, bassist Joe Martin and drummer Ted Poor dig into Sabbagh's compositions that range from the floating and ethereal "Middle Earth" and "Moon/Sun," to the pretty ballad "As One" and driving tunes like the Middle Eastern-inflected "Hamra," "Stand Up" and title tune.

Sabbagh's sound centers around a dry, almost entirely vibrato-less saxophone timbre that makes him sound simultaneously exposed and withholding something—quite the opposite of someone like Wayne Escoffery. Any pitch problems would be exposed by the lack of vibrato, but Sabbagh is rock solid in this department.

Besides leading his own groups and putting out well-received albums like Excavation and Oceana, Monder is in high demand as a sideman and has played and recorded with people as varied as Paul Motian, Maria Schneider and Lee Konitz.

If Sabbagh is the precise and controlled side of the equation, Monder, at least on this record, brings the fire and abandon that provides contrast. His playing, many times with rock distortion, manages to complement Sabbagh's compositions when they have ambiguous harmony and soft edges while taking the hotter tunes to the next level. Monder manages to maintain a balance between a sideman who is part of the rhythm section and co-leader on the front line—the musical camaraderie with Sabbagh is quite audible.

Martin and Poor (who played with Monder on Oceana) provide a supple and flexible rhythmic foundation that stays in constant touch with the needs of the music as it changes within tunes and over the course of the CD.

Pogo represents a working band and has a sound of immediacy that comes only from familiarity. Sabbagh is a fine composer; his music is well worth checking out and following down the road.

Track Listing: Middle Earth; Rooftops; Moon/Sun; Stand Up; Pogo; As One; Hamra; Eye of the Storme.

Personnel: Jerome Sabbagh: tenor, soprano sax; Ben Monder: guitar; Joe Martin: bass; Ted Poor: drums.

Title: Pogo | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review Vol. 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Meeting My Shadow CD/LP/Track Review Meeting My Shadow
by James Nadal
Published: July 22, 2017
Read No Secrets No Lies CD/LP/Track Review No Secrets No Lies
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 22, 2017
Read 50 CD/LP/Track Review 50
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "Proverbe" CD/LP/Track Review Proverbe
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 15, 2017
Read "Steelonious" CD/LP/Track Review Steelonious
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "Natural Language" CD/LP/Track Review Natural Language
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 9, 2016
Read "My Head is Listening" CD/LP/Track Review My Head is Listening
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 2, 2017
Read "Laughing At Life" CD/LP/Track Review Laughing At Life
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 27, 2017
Read "The Frog, The Fish and The Whale" CD/LP/Track Review The Frog, The Fish and The Whale
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 24, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!