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Alto saxophonist Dave Glasser brings together members of the jazz aristocracy for more than 60 minutes of fanciful and engaging playing. Glasser has been a regular member of the Clark Terry Quintet and has worked with George Benson, the Count Basie Orch. and Monty Alexander. Showing a good deal of flexibility with his alto, Glasser can deal with smooth, swinging, bop and post bop jazz genre. Glasser wrote eight of the program's tunes and in the hands of these more than capable artists, they sound better than they probably are.
"Tranquillity" is just that, peaceful and calm as Glasser's alto and Barry Harris' piano sail musically over the serene waters of this Glasser composition. There is a bit of Ellington's "Prelude to a Kiss" feel about it probably due to a hint of Johnny Hodges in the alto. "CT" provides an opportunity for the trumpet of Clark Terry to join in a give and take maneuvering with Glasser's alto, as well as taking flight on a stirring solo. This tune also provides a vehicle for Peter Washington to show his melodic dexterity on bass. A bouncy, bop-tinged "Blue Rose" gives Glasser a chance to work with veteran Benny Powell's trombone in ear catching harmony. The master, Clark Terry, takes over the gorgeous ballad "The Nearness of You" exploring nooks and crannies of the Hoagy Carmichael classic. Glasser plays a very tender alto on this piece until he and Terry change course and tempo and start playing up beat over the melody line. Glasser pays tribute to the late Jaki Byard with whom he worked with "Bye-Yard". Proceedings turn soulful, with a slight Latin beat added by Curtis Boyd's drums, on Billy Strayhorn's "Intimacy of the Blues". Glasser and group move away from the sweet stuff to kick up their heels on the album's last track, a rousing "Jumpin' at the Woodside" leaving listeners snapping fingers and tapping toes as this fine album comes to end.
There's plenty of variety on this album to satisfy the tastes of most jazz fans. Mr. Glasser's maiden album as a leader for Nagel Heyer is recommended.
Track Listing: Uh! Oh!#; Bye-Yard; A Touch of Kin^; Intimacy of the Blues#; Blue Rose; Charise^; 52nd Street Theme; FNH; The Nearness of You; CT; Tranquillity; Powell's Prance; Jumpin' at the Woodside#
Personnel: Dave Glasser - Alto Sax; Clerk Terry# - Trumpet/Flugelhorn; Barry Harris - Piano; Benny Powell; Frank Wess - Tenor Sax; Peter Washington - Bass; Curtis Boyd - Drums; Roy Hargrove+ - Trumpet/Flugelhorn
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.