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September 2007

Stephen Riley
Easy to Remember
SteepleChase

In a sax-led trio, everybody gets to stretch out. Tenor/soprano man Riley is loose and ready to jam in this set of eight standards, which bassist Neal Caine and drummer Jason Marsalis tackle with equal verve. Riley plays softly but packs a wallop, tearing up speedy bop workouts, sliding deep into the blues, and bouncing merrily in swing time. In the disc’s finest moment, “Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans” disintegrates gracefully in slow motion, with Riley showing wonderful grit on soprano horn.

Originally published in September 2007
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