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12/09/11

Shawn Maxwell
Urban Vigilante
Chicago Sessions

On this quartet outing, Chicago-based alto saxophonist Shawn Maxwell runs the gamut from the dark, noirish “Monster Shoes” to more upbeat fare like the forcefully swinging “Juggernaut,” the buoyant, Latin-flavored “Starscream” and the brightly appealing title track. Other highlights include the waltz-time lullaby “Boots” (named for his daughter’s favorite character on Dora the Explorer), the bluesy walker “Big Hurt” (named for former Chicago White Sox slugger Frank Thomas) and the lyrical ballad “The Sixth.” The common thread running through this varied program is the sound of Maxwell’s potent, facile sax lines, which comfortably straddle old-school and contemporary jazz camps.

Originally published in November 2011
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