September 2001

Paul Norris Quintet
A New Beginning
Fresh Sound New Talent

Trumpeter Alex Norris was introduced to Fresh Sound honcho Jordi Pujol by pianist George Colligan, another part of the label's roster and a former high-school trumpeter who grew up envying Norris' skills. On Norris' debut album, A New Beginning, he presents himself as a fine mainstream player, one who's worked a wide variety of contexts, from salsa groups to ghost-led swing bands. His skills are bolstered by a fine combo, particularly the muscular tenor saxophonist Gregory Tardy, who often sounds more exciting as a sideman than as a leader. Colligan, bassist Dwayne Burno and drummer Joe Strasser round out the group, and vocalist Claudia Acuna shows off her improvisational chops on a pair of tunes.

Originally published in September 2001
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