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Dave Glasser: Dreams Askew, Dreams Anew

Dave Glasser is a rarity among contemporary altoists in that his approach harks back to the early days of modern jazz with a nod toward even earlier styles. On Charlie Parker’s blistering “Moose the Mooche,” he shows that he can sail through the changes in Birdlike fashion, while his own “Czakass” creates the soulful slow-blues ambiance of “Parker’s Mood.” On Tadd Dameron’s “Focus” and in some other places, his light, lyrical manner suggests the kind of alto coming out of the West Coast in the ’50s. But on Duke Ellington’s “Don’t You Know I Care” and the original title track, it’s pioneer altoist Johnny Hodges that comes to mind, with the lovely pure tone and the gentle swoops into the pitch.

Glasser plays with confidence throughout, assisted by his longtime teacher Barry Harris on piano, Peter Washington on bass and Lewis Nash on drums, with trumpeter Kurt Weiss helping out on the Latin “Funny Money.” The rhythm section assumes an appropriately subdued-but solid-stance in keeping with the leader’s subtle and effective use of dynamics.

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