For the past quarter century, Steve Wood has honed his craft on tenor sax, evolving stylistically from blues, fusion and avant-garde to classic tenor players such as Coltrane and Rollins. This Corridor release demonstrates that his musical parameters should no longer be confined to the city limits of his native Detroit.
The CD's first track not only establishes the general format, it underscores how comfortable he is with his musical approach. Playing soprano sax on "Invitation," Wood proves how effective, how swinging it can be (if you have the right support behind you) just to play melody with a minimum of ornamentation.
Elsewhere, Wood chooses the tenor-obviously the horn he's most comfortable with. He has a warm, pleasing tone and his ideas are fluid. They can best be heard on the hard-bop lines of Bird's "Donna Lee," his own "ODRP Blues" and the introspective flow of "Weaver of Dreams." There are no weak moments on this CD, which is a tribute to his jazz instincts and the very tight, responsive rhythm section: pianist Phil Kelly, bassist Paul Keller and drummer Ron Jackson.