The Dave Zoller Quartet and Septet

The Big Time Sessions

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Dave Zoller, piano; Drew Phelps, bass; Carl Hillman, acoustic and fretless electric basses; Woody Berner/Dennis Durick, drums; Zack Hexum, tenor and soprano saxophones; Larry Spencer, trumpet and flugelhorn; Greg Waites, trombone;

Intriguing, that's the word. Dave Zoller roams throughout and over the backdrop of what is obviously a well-rehearsed band. The ensemble work is exemplary. Nevertheless, there is also a lot of freedom evident. Turn up the volume as much as you like and a certain quietness still seems to prevail, which means that nobody is laying down anything here but pure music. The dynamics are given over to sheer musicality. In all cases, both in the septet and quartet numbers, these able musicians perform with a great deal of sensitivity, and you have to fall in love with the trombone passages from Greg Waits. But Zoller remains the leader. He is a man whose ideas on piano are given full expression with a mostly light touch. You listen and are immersed in this CD. You slowly realize that not only Waits is putting out beautiful solos, the other guys each gently make their presence felt. Spend an evening alone with this music and your house vibes will be raised a notch or two. Perfectly lovely.

by Lawrence Brazier

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