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Hollis Gentry III : For the Record

Listeners who know saxophonist Hollis Gentry III only as a founder of the perennially popular smooth-jazz group Fattburger will be in for a real surprise when they hear his For the Record. Released under Gentry’s own name, the CD features hard-charging, full-featured, straightahead jazz sprinkled with enough contemplative ballads to balance the set. The list of tunes accurately foretells what to expect: “On Green Dolphin Street,” Freddie Hubbard’s “Up Jumped Spring,” “Alone Together,” Joe Henderson’s “Recordame” and Thad Jones’ “A Child Is Born” as well as “The Night Has a Thousand Eyes,” “I Want to Talk About You” and the saxophone-test vehicle “Cherokee.” Gentry’s husky-toned tenor is the instrument of choice for all but the two gentler, waltzlike tracks, where his lightfooted soprano comes to the fore. The solid, mainstream rhythm section of pianist Bob Weller, drummer Tim McMahon and bassist Chris Conner helps engender a first-class, no-nonsense ambiance that’s modified successfully on occasion by omission of the piano. Special notice must be given to bassist Conner, whose technical wizardry during his frequent solos is worthy of a virtuoso baritone saxophonist.

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