July 13, 2024


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CD review: Greg Abate – Magic Dance: The Music of Kenny Barron 2021: Video, CD cover

In American jazz, it is difficult to find a musician who consistently defends the ideas of post-bop in his work and feels so comfortable in the field of straight-ahead jazz than the saxophonist and composer Greg Abate, who is quite familiar to our readers from his releases on Whaling City Sound.

The work of another well-known master, pianist Kenny Baron, is also permeated with similar creative principles. They first met back in 1996, and in 2019 both musicians crossed paths at concerts in Camden, Maine and Greg, who had long cherished the idea of ​​a joint recording with Kenny, made the corresponding proposal, which was accepted.

This was the beginning of the road to the big double album that we are now presenting. Kenny was undoubtedly flattering to hear that Greg was going to build the program of the album from the music of Kenny Baron. The selection of compositions took a lot of time: Baron had a lot of compositions, and then work on their re-arrangement and re-harmonization, which coincided with the covid lockdown. As Abate himself writes, Baron invariably welcomed his innovations. In fact, the recording of the album, in which experienced professionals – bassist Desron Douglas and drummer Jonathan Blake took part along with Ebat and Baron – took three days. But before the recording, and after it, it took much more time.

Greg Abate is a multi-instrumentalist fluent in all types of saxophones and flute. And he widely applied this skill in this album. The overdubbing technique helped him play two instruments on many tracks. But two plays became champions in this sense: Innocence and Voyage. On the advice of the label chief Neil Wise, Greg reproduced the sound of an entire big band wind section in them: Innocence has a soprano saxophone, alto, two tenors and a baritone saxophone, and in Voyage – two altos, two tenors and a baritone saxophone! Kenny Baron reacted with great interest to this experiment and evaluated it positively. I think the audience will also appreciate it, along with the music of Kenny Baron and the skill of his interpreters.

  1. Sunshower (5:18)
  2. Cook’s Bay (6:10)
  3. Golden Lotus (7:54)
  4. Innocence (7:20)
  5. Water Lily (9:00)
  6. Sonia Braga (7:38)
  7. Bud Like (3:47)
  8. Lemuria (6:15)
  9. Concentric Circles (4:52)
  10. Rain (8:29)
  11. Voyage (5:26)
  12. Magic Dance (5:35)
  13. Song for Abdullah (4:32)
  14. And Then Again (5:35)

Greg Abate, saxophones, flute
Kenny Barron, piano
Dezron Douglas, bass
Johnathan Blake, drums

RI Jazz Great Greg Abate to Release "Magic Dance: The Music of Kenny Barron" in April - What's Up Newp

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