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John Tank Quartet: Canadian Sunset

Canadian Sunset, John Tank’s second CD, attractively showcases the veteran saxophonist’s rollicking tenor and pensive soprano. With a tone and style on tenor reminiscent of early Sonny Rollins or, at times, Joe Henderson, Tank charges through swingers like “Canadian Sunset” with mature fluency, in spite of the rare awkward phrase. A lovely soprano sound and more meditative manner grace the less urgent pieces, such as pianist Peter Madsen’s Near Easternlike “Surrounded by the Night.” Still, Tank can also use the bigger horn for quietly expressive purposes, as he does on his own “Have You Heard This Song Before?” (No, but I’ve heard Coltrane play its cousin, “Theme for Ernie.”) Drummer Mike Clark’s tenure with Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters made him the ideal groovemaster for the leader’s funk-oriented “Tank Toon.” Bassist Ted Trimble, formerly with Larry Coryell, excels throughout both as an anchorman and as a nimble soloist. Madsen, with thoughtfully crafted lines and explosive swing, provides many of the recording’s high points.

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