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Brad Dutz: When Manatees Attack

Jim Santella By

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As percussionist Brad Dutz leads this improvising quartet in a program of his own compositions, he draws a connecting line between the classical music literature and modern jazz. With instruments such as oboe, English horn, cello and clarinet, you get the distinct feeling that you're sitting in on an afternoon of chamber jazz in a small auditorium somewhere near home. But his session is much more than that. Moving with exotic charm, the ensemble interprets his program with flair. Dutz deftly moves his feature across the spectrum, including program spotlights on xylophone, congas, marimba, vibraphone and various drums.

Dutz' son Jasper, who must be in his early teens by now, co-wrote "Insulated Potato Wedges, and joins the ensemble on clarinet for this adventure. Together, he and the others launch a pleasant surprise that rolls comfortable and mellow on padded wheels.

Brad Dutz has touched jazz from all angles. After studying at North Texas State and Berklee, he toured as the late trumpeter Maynard Ferguson's drummer in the early 1980s. Studio work in Los Angeles has provided him a firm foundation and allows for much freedom. His creative work with pfMENTUM has created many fruitful partnerships, which allow him to grow. As a vital force on the Southern California free jazz scene, he provides the kind of energy that multiplies successfully across the board.

Track Listing: Spongy Bark; I

Personnel: Paul Sherman: oboe, English horn; James Sullivan: bass clarinet, G clarinet; Rachel Arnold: cello; Brad Dutz: marimba, vibes, xylophone, congas, bongos, bones, cajon, rig, doumbec, darabuka, other percussion; Jasper Dutz: Bb clarinet (3).

Title: When Manatees Attack | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: pfMentum

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