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Saxophonist Gary Meek is a Californian who has performed and recorded with the fabled Brazilian musicians, vocalist Flora Purim and percussionist Airto Moreira. Meek boasts a lengthy resume that includes stints with keyboardist Jeff Lorber, drummer Alphonse Mouzon and others. Here, Purim and Moreira continue their longtime affiliation with Meek by lending their wares to this gratifyingly fashioned program.
Meek seems equally comfortable performing in a variety of formats, witnessed by his sprightly rendition of Charlie Parker’s “Be-Bop," to complement a series of contemporary jazz frameworks. Among the highlights is Meek’s lushly romantic soprano sax work during the group’s affectionate interpretation of Chick Corea’s gorgeous piece titled, “Time’s Lie.” Whereas Ms. Purim harmonizes to the primary theme, as she did on the original rendering of this minor classic. However, Meek and co. opt for a shift in strategy by elevating this piece into an airy swing vamp.
Meek melds emotive balladry with the horn section’s bawdy choruses during the standard, “Harlem Nocturne.” Hence, the saxophonist and his band-mates communicate a cheery disposition, thanks in part to a sequence of uplifting arrangements and memorably tuneful themes. Recommended...
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