390

Jerome Sabbagh: Pogo

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
On Pogo, French-born saxophonist Jerome Sabbagh remembers the wise lesson that "If it's not broken; don't fix it. Though his recording label has changed, this release consists of the same quartet members and eclectic formula that made his acclaimed release North (2004, Fresh Sound New Talent) such a success.

A thorough technician with control and lyricism, Sabbagh's saxophone may seem slightly obscured but is seemingly focused more on the development of his compositions and the group's sound, rather than on his individual chops. The music is realized by the more-than potent rhythm section of bassist Joe Martin and drummer Ted Poor, and the wonderful guitar-isms of Ben Monder. Over the past few years of performing together, they've bonded, learned, and are continuing to define their sound.

Drawing inspiration from the piano-less quartets of John Scofield and Sonny Rollins, Sabbagh's own piano-less group brings his own brand of urban/rural that could be heard in a café in France or a seedy bar in New York. The guitar/sax combo has been a favorite of the saxophonist's and he takes advantage of his rapport with Monder, as witnessed on the languid tempo of "Rooftops, as their voices flow together almost effortlessly.

Some of the tunes sound familiar, such as the proficiently swinging "Middle Earth and the bluesy hard-rocking "Stand Up, which seems like a reprise of the popular North tune "Sick Leo .

But there are surprises, like the dream-enhanced "Moon/Sun, a slowly built tune featuring interesting chord impressions and elaborate drumming by Ted Poor. The middle-eastern tinted "Hamra is also an ear-opener, with Martin's pulsating bass, Poor's nice percussive work, and Sabbagh and Monder bringing up the rear with a snaky melody.

Along with his own concepts, background, and musical training in Paris and the U.S., Sabbagh's unselfishness is a primary factor as the group is given autonomy to express itself whether on the title "Pogo, which plays out like a rock concert encore or the warm shades of the ballad "Eye of the Storme.


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 Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn CD/LP/Track Review Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 18, 2017
Read The Princess CD/LP/Track Review The Princess
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Queen City Blues CD/LP/Track Review Queen City Blues
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Latin Lover CD/LP/Track Review Latin Lover
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Reclamation CD/LP/Track Review Reclamation
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Provenance CD/LP/Track Review Provenance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 17, 2017
Read "Pandora's Bag" CD/LP/Track Review Pandora's Bag
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 25, 2017
Read "Mata Hati" CD/LP/Track Review Mata Hati
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 29, 2017
Read "The Late Trane" CD/LP/Track Review The Late Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Masonic Lawn" CD/LP/Track Review Masonic Lawn
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 13, 2017
Read "Off Beat" CD/LP/Track Review Off Beat
by Mark E. Gallo
Published: August 9, 2017
Read "Passin' Thru" CD/LP/Track Review Passin' Thru
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 12, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.

Please support out sponsor