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11/07/11

Jake Saslow
Crosby Street
14th Street

Tenor saxophonist-composer Jake Saslow fronts an abundantly talented quintet on his very personal and rewarding debut as a leader. In the company of pianist Fabian Almazan, guitarist Mike Moreno, bassist Joe Martin and the incredible Marcus Gilmore on drums, Saslow carves out his own niche in the modern jazz landscape with intriguing contrapuntal numbers like “Early Riser,” the bracing, interval-leaping “Taiga Forest” and the buoyantly swinging title track. Gilmore lays down a dancing polyrhythmic groove on “Lucky 13,” then underscores the somber ballad “How Things Were” with subtle brushwork. They also turn in an affecting cover of Horace Silver’s melancholy “Lonely Woman” and strike a beautiful accord on the gentle, Paul Motian-ish rubato closer, “Until Next Time.”

Originally published in November 2011
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