March 1999

Greg Abate
Broken Dreams
Seaside

Multi-saxophonist Greg Abate is a prime example of the "rear back and blow" school of contemporary bop-based players. The tunes he writes or chooses are based on the kinds of changes that harmony-oriented jazzmen have favored since the beginning and he swings through them with an eager and easy virtuosity. The effect is that much of his playing is double-time, the relatively even note values interspersed with catchy melodic phrases. Abate is joined in the front line on four tracks by Frank Tiberi, the long-time Woody Herman tenorist.

Tiberi's typically serpentine lines are even more consistently multi-noted than Abate's. Characteristic of his style, Tiberi's phrases consist of seemingly endless strings of lightning fast notes tumbling effortlessly from the bell of his horn. His breathless perpetual motion solo on his own adaptation of Ralph Burns' classic "Early Autumn" is alone worth the price of the record. But that's not to take anything away from Abate and his excellent rhythm section.

There's no energy letup when pianist Mac Chrupcala, bassist Dave Zinno, or drummer John Anter solo. And they accompany admirably as well.

Originally published in March 1999
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