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May 2000

Jazz Composers Alliance Saxophone Quartet
I'm Me and You're Not: The Music of Darrell Katz
Brownstone Records

This is the third album from the Boston-based Jazz Composers Alliance Saxophone Quartet, and it's an ear-burner. Jazz is all about creativity and continual evolution, and both elements are here in abundance. Without a rhythm section, the reedsmen produce a groove via well-constructed interplay and well-controlled dynamics. The music ranges from Jimi Hendrix's "Belly Button Window" to Jimmy Guiffre's "The Train and the River" and Julius Hemphill's "R&B."
Seven of the 10 tracks are originals by Darrell Katz of the Boston-based JCA and the JCA orchestra, where these saxophonists met. The one titled "Hemphill" is a four-part tribute suite written by Katz in honor of the late genius, who had appeared with the JCA orchestra. Four of the seven feature the spoken word, mainly written and performed by Katz's wife, Paula Tatarunis. The saxophonists are Dan Bosshardt on baritone, Jeff Hudgins on alto and soprano, Eric Rasmussen on alto, Phil Scarff on tenor and soprano, with Daniel Ian Smith playing tenor on one track; Angel Gittens handles vocals. An intriguing and well-executed concept.

Originally published in May 2000
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