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Atlanta-based saxophonist Mace Hibbard hits the ground running with When We Last Met, an all original collection of hard-driving progressive jazz with contemporary overtones. The disc is imbued with strong lyricism and challenging, yet accessible grooves.
Hibbard has a boisterous feel with a seething growl for a tone. His edgy approach on the alto displays an in-depth understanding of past masters, especially Cannonball Adderley, and current trailblazers like Kenny Garrett. His powerhouse solo on the disc's raucous opener, "Captain Caveman, is a declamatory statement of brazen strength. A tough, soulful tenor sound is revealed on the funky "Reverend Boots 'n' Ball. Hibbard's slightly more laid-back approach with the soprano saxophone brings out a softer side to his playing and composing on the title track, "Cruisin' on Colcord, and "My Prayer.
Hibbard's sidemen are all stellar soloists with an inventiveness perfectly suited to the diverse nature of the music. Guitarist Bryan Leitch tears through "Raiders of the Lost Marc and pianist Louis Heriveaux swings hard on "One for 44. Bassist Marc Miller and drummer Justin Varnes elevate each groove with soul and sophistication.
Hibbard is an artist who uses his technical mastery, compositional skills, and informed understanding of the jazz saxophone lineage, to create musical offerings that are truly unique. When Last We Met is a first-rate, independent release, with quality production and outstanding performances from all
Track Listing: Captain Caveman; When Last We Met; Revered Boots 'n' Ball; Cruisin on Colcord; The Tempest; One for 44;
Lullabye for Alex; Town Lake; Better Than Most; Raiders of The Lost Marc; My Prayer.
Personnel: Mace Hibbard: alto, soprano and tenor saxophones; Louis Heriveaux: piano; Bryan Leitch: guitar; Marc Miller:
bass; Justin Varnes: drums.
I was first exposed to jazz while learning to play chess with my uncles. They would play smooth jazz, and then switch up to more standard types of jazz. But, when they played Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, I was
hooked and I haven't looked back.