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March 1998

Gordon Brisker
The Gift
Naxos of America

Tenor saxophonist Brisker, who teaches at the Sydney (Australia) Conservatorium of Music, is in my record collection on the great Woody Herman, 1963 album. On The Gift he employs trumpeter Tim Hagens, pianist Marc Copland, bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Jeff Hirshfield-and an ensemble sound reminiscent of the mid-'60s Miles Davis Quintet. His tenor has been influenced by Shorter, Getz, Golson and Coltrane. His distinctive tone draws more from the light and shadow of the first three than from Trane.

The tunes ("I Got Rhythm" plus originals by Brisker and others) are interesting and open to different moods from soloist to soloist. I hear this album more as a development of the Davis and Shorter concept than as a copy. Solid, mature playing all around.

Originally published in March 1998
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