Some people see a baritone saxophone and think it an obtuse and blunt instrument. Not Anders Svanoe; he sees his baritone saxophone as a sharpened, yet subtle tool. Evidenced by State Of The Baritone Volume 2, he communicates everything from shuffling boogaloos to energized free-jazz, post-bop, and folk music with an uncanny naturalness.
The closest antecedents of this recording are Sonny Rollins or Joe Henderson's Village Vanguard trio recordings or, more recently, JD Allen's music. However, those recordings featured tenor saxophones. Maybe that's what makes this a special recording, and one that required two very sympathetic collaborators, bassist John Christensen and drummer Rodrigo Villanueva Conroy.
Svanoe penned all the music here. The disc opens with the naive Ornette Coleman-like romp of "Baby Toys" and closes with the robust, unaccompanied exhibition "Soloist." Both pieces display a master applying his craft with panache. He swings hard on the groove-heavy tracks like "Beagle Pilot," "Happy Turtle," and "Free Harris," dedicated to the great Eddie Harris. The ease with which Svanoe wields his instrument has you forgetting it is the bulbous baritone. His use of varying techniques weaves a wide variety of listening experiences. He can lay down a cover of atmospheric sound, as on "Space-Time," or absolutely rip, tear and dynamite a piece, as he does with "Point Of Reference." All this makes for a diverse and very pleasing listening experience.
1. Baby Toys
3. Beagle Pilot
4. Point Of Reference
5. One On One
6. Free Harris
7. Power Up
8. Happy Turtle
9. First & Winnebago
Anders Svanoe: baritone saxophone
John Christensen: bass
Rodrigo Villanueva Conroy: drums.