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Avram Fefer and Bobby Few: Kindred Spirits

At a performance during their U.S. tour this summer, saxophonist Avram Fefer and pianist Bobby Few took Charles Mingus’ “Orange Was the Color of Her Dress, Then Blue Silk” on an extended journey from the blues to outer space and back. Kindred Spirits includes the Mingus tune, but like the readings of Ellington and Monk that fill out the album, the approach leans more toward the traditional. The free blowing appears on its twin release, Heavenly Places.

Few, once a member of Steve Lacy’s Paris sextet, plays with an authoritative sound that creates rich swirls of melody. That partially explains why tracks like “Come Sunday” and “Ask Me Now” come across with a vital spark and don’t sound like polite homage. Even when playing it straight, Fefer’s beefy tone sounds strong, and it’s almost a shame that his Coltrane-esque ballad “Kingdom Come” gets two just readings (one on clarinet, one on tenor) with no blowing.

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