David Borgo, tenor and soprano sax; David Ake, piano; Todd Sikafoose, bass;
Mark Ferber, drums.
This is a 2-disc set, with disc one being a studio set, and disc two a live set.While the music is for the most part straight ahead, right away on disc one there is an energy apparent in the music. "A Dime A Dozen" leads off, showing Borgo to be an interesting soloist. He's got a melodic flair, yet is not afraid of stepping out a bit and blowing some hard edged harmonics on tenor. Drummer Ferber solos and demonstrates a clear grasp of both Max roach and Roy Haynes. He plays little themes instead of just rhythms. The ballad, "Duece," showcases Borgo on soprano. He has a full, rather than nasal tone, and is a joy to listen to. "Drum Talk" is a funky tune. The band plays with the same ease and sense of "swing." Ferber and bassist Sickafoose drive things along under the solos. Ferber takes a solo over a bass line that makes you want to dance. The up tempo "Spiral Staircase" is built on an inverted version of Coltrane's "Giant Steps." The band burns and kicks its way through. These guys can swing!
The second disc was recorded live in Macau direct to 2-track mini disc under extenuating circumstances. While the sound is a bit dodgy in places, it's a wonderful performance that begs listening to. There's a wonderful energy running throughout, as the musicians dig even deeper, and take more chances than on the studio disc. This is great music played with passion by great players. Highly recommended.
by Michael Bettine
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