May 2010

Hadley Caliman
Straight Ahead
Origin Records

Veteran tenor saxophonist Hadley Caliman—he was on the Central Avenue scene in Los Angeles during the ’50s—teams with golden-toned trumpeter Thomas Marriott on the frontline for this inspired outing. Flaunting a beautiful, burnished tone and remarkable fluidity on his horn, Caliman sails through his “Cigar Eddie,” Harold Land’s “Rapture” and Lee Morgan’s Latin-flavored “Totem Pole” with confidence and old-school swagger. And he acquits himself with rare elegance and taste on Billy Strayhorn’s “Lush Life” and the poignant ballad “You Leave Me Breathless.” Marriott, who produced the session, also contributes the driving “Cathlamet,” and the two horns engage in some facile, energized exchanges with pianist Eric Verlinde on Joe Locke’s uptempo swinger “Blues for PT.”

Originally published in May 2010
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