Tuesday, October 23, 2012

NEW SESSIONS FROM MARKUS BURGER AND THE TENOR SAX DUO HARRY ALLEN AND SCOTT HAMILTON


In the past, tenor sax players Harry Allen and Scott Hamilton have co-led two albums “Just You Just Me” and “Heavy Juice,” establishing Allen and Hamilton as a serious tenor sax duo like Eddie “Lock Jaw” Davis and Johnny Griffin. “’Round Midnight” is the current joint venture from Allen and Hamilton. Obviously, they never wanted “’Round Midnight to be a meaningless blowing session, or a shameless cutting contest. Neither sax player has anything to prove at this point of their careers. As “’Round Midnight shows,”  both are vet swingers with splendid tones like the cool Zoot Simms. “’Round Midnight” comes across as longtime buddies out to have a blast, playing mostly standards such as Monk’s ‘Round Midnight and Eddie “Lock Jaw” Davis “Hey Lock!”.

There was a time when jazz trio albums were plentiful. But over time, the supply and quality of those albums seemed to dwindle, but every so often, an unbelievably good trio jazz album such as the recently released “Accidental Tourists The L.A. Sessions” surfaces, warranting a conversation.“Accidental Tourist” is the creation of jazz piano player Markus Burger. The album will immediately remind you of the string of banner trio albums the late Bill Evans masterminded. Burger is not an Evans emulator, but his serious piano playing begs comparison to Evans. On “Accidental Tourist,” Burger tosses you the keys to the album and encourages you to take it out for a test drive. The album has some easy to spot standards, but Burger and his staff—drummer Joe Labarbera and bass player Bob Magnusson—sound their liveliest on Burger’s originals “Air Canada,” “Black Sea Pearl,” and “Rodeo Drive Hustler”.
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