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Harvey Wainapel: The Hang

Wainapel, a longtime resident of San Francisco, opens this album, his third, with “Beautiful Love.” From his tenor saxophone solo, it’s apparent that he favors a mature, take-your-time approach to improvisation a` la Scott Hamilton, Gene Ammons, or Clifford Jordan-with a touch of Lovanoesque modernity applied. This is his most distinctive and appealing horn. (He also plays soprano, alto, and clarinet on the date.)

Next comes “The Buzzard,” a slow, bluesy original in a Ray Charles vein-Wainapel worked with the singer’s band for 10 months-and there’s more fine laid-back tenor. Several performances later, we get to Wayne Shorter’s “Pinocchio,” a burner that demonstrates that Wainapel is no slouch at uptempo. These three tracks sell me on the saxophonist, although I have no quibbles with the rest of the performances either. He picks good notes.

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