Rich_corpolongo_quartet-smiles_span3
December 1998

Rich Corpolongo Quartet
Smiles
Delmark Records

A modern jazz multi-reedman specializing on soprano and alto saxes, clarinet and piccolo, Rich Corpolongo covers a lot of bases here but displays unfailing consistency throughout. Utilizing the complex and instrumentally challenging options presented by a panoply of influences-from Parker, Dolphy and Coltrane through Debussy, Stravinsky, Bartok, Schoenberg, and Stockhausen-Corpolongo offers his second Delmark leader date seven original pieces of varying but always striking hues. The principal soloist, he is largely front and center from top to bottom, but he does relieve his harmonically extended. Improvisations by delegating ample solo space to pianist Larry Luchowski, while the foundation is held firmly rooted by bassist Eric Hochberg and drummer/
percussionist Mike Raynor, both imaginative soloists as well. Corpolongo's clarinet, and finely trained virtuosic voice in the classic tradition, is featured, along with his piccolo, on "Experiment," while his clarinet alone dominates "Tone Row" and the post-boppish "Margin of Space," his Cannonball-tinged alto "Nancy's Blues" and the way-up "Different Blues," and his smooth-toned soprano the other tunes.

Originally published in December 1998
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