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the zookeeper reviews Wayne Escoffery’s “Uptown”….

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Posi-Tone, 2009

BOP/SOUL-JAZZ – This well-named disc from tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery pulses with urban energy and old-school soul, contrasting firmly modernistic jazz statements with swinging feel-good grooves. Escoffery’s solos are like towering monoliths, huge, dense and hard as stone, as his notes spill over in seemingly endless streams as the rest of his quartet offers thick, buoyant support. No new ground is broken here, but Escoffery’s titanic sax sound is always welcome.

Wayne Escoffery – saxophone
Avi Rothbard – guitar
Gary Versace – organ
Jason Brown – drums

* * * | Fo’s Picks: 1, 3, 6, 8

1. 5:34 – serious swing, thick groove: sax churns, calm guitar, modern organ
2. 5:10 – old-school soul-jazz swing on Duke Ellington classic, kinda bluesy
3. 5:34 – chugging big-city groove: guitar glides, drums bash, dense sax solo
4. 5:28 – ballad: organ makes it syrupy, but sax is romantic & guitar is lively
5. 1:03 – mysterious organ, intro to track 6…
6. 5:55 – tense with dragging tempo, hints of faux-exoticism, great sax solo
7. 4:44 – easygoing soul-jazz; danceable, summery feel, groovin’ solos
8. 8:45 – in waltz time, serious feel: guitar & sax wrap around upbeat organ
9. 2:10 – happy soulful sway, a bit of sass, long fade-out


Written by editor

January 10th, 2010 at 11:26 am

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