Lew Tabackin: Tenority

Lew Tabackin is my kind of saxophonist, playing straightahead, smooth, sweet, supple and ardently articulate. Tenority, his fourth Concord album, proves again how Tabackin can exalt standards such as “Autumn Nocturne,” “Sentimental Journey,” “You Stepped Out of Dream,” and more. The New York studio recorded session makes your heart swell with appreciation for the veteran jazzman’s deep-toned tenor expressions.

Tabackin, bassist Peter Washington and drummer Mark Taylor perform tightly throughout nine of ten tunes (Lew solos on the final track, “You Don’t Know What Love Is”). Lyrical pianist Don Friedman joins them on four tracks, and trumpeter Randy Brecker expands the quartet to a quintet on three selections. Everyone excels on this outing and, together, their music swirls like a warm, balmy breeze.

Sessions like this make you remember why you love the idiom. Added to Tabackin’s laudable discography as leader (tenor and flute sessions), Tenority is friendly fare, an album you’ll want to play over and over.