June 2002

Gordon Brisker Quintet
My Son John
Naxos of America

Gordon Brisker is one veteran tenor man who has integrated lessons from Coltrane into a mature personal style of his own. Perhaps because Brisker is involved with numerous other musical activities, his outstanding saxophone work is not as well known as it deserves to be. My Son John, Brisker's sixth release and the first since his return from a period as a lecturer at the Sydney (Australia) Conservatorium of Music, demonstrates what an unfortunate oversight that is. Brisker exhibits unerring accuracy and tonal consistency throughout the extended range of the instrument as he constructs searching improvisations that swing assertively or sing fervently. And his exploratory playing fits his equally inventive compositions. Much of the material-all Brisker tunes but three-projects a somewhat modal quality, although it includes some straight hard-bop moments also. Highlights include Brisker's title track, which superimposes a simple, bluesy melody over a modal-sounding underpinning, and the fast-paced "Impetus," with its swirling postbop solos by Brisker and trumpeter Tim Hagans over the churning rhythmic activity provided by pianist Mike Nock, bassist Anthony Cox and drummer Billy Hart.

Originally published in June 2002
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