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December 2000

Andrew Rathbun
Scatter Some Stones
Big Round Records

Tenor and soprano saxophonist Andrew Rathbun makes his recording debut on this disc full of original compositions, introducing himself as a talented and contemplative musician and composer. The quiet tone of the title cut sets the mood of the disc, with Rathbun's soprano skipping like a thrown stone across the combo's calm pond. George Colligan's piano is well matched with Rathbun's saxophone and intuitively follows its initially skittering path. While there are plenty of solos by the participants-Rathbun, Colligan, trumpeter Taylor Haskins, bassist John Herbert and drummer Jeff Hirshfield-the album is defined by a collective attitude. The ensemble works flawlessly on the head of "Nations," providing a solid base for Rathbun's flowing tenor lines. The only non-original on the disc, Coltrane's "Lazybird," provides a wonderful, and perhaps necessary, change of pace and mind-set. Playing it in 5/4 time, the combo really gets into the classic tune with a lot of swing and soul. More bids for variety would have brought greater diversity to the CD, but Scatter Some Stones is still a well-conceived and ably delivered album crowned with some strikingly imaginative solos.

Originally published in December 2000
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