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Larry Schneider Quartet: Jazz

The momentum that saxophonist Larry Schneider generates here is just awesome. From the laid-back, elliptical initial statement of “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You” to the last twists wrought on John Carisi’s “Israel,” the intensity just won’t let up. Blame it on a great rhythm section-Andy LaVerne, piano; Steve LaSpina, bass; and Matt Wilson, drums-but the conviction ultimately belongs to Schneider, who shapes his tone to fit the music at hand and shapes the music to follow his quick wit and fleet fingers.

Schneider and the stellar rhythm section-so typical of Steeplechase releases-are completely at ease in sharing roles and responsibilities: time is clearly a shared concept, harmonization is shaped by each member of the quartet and melody accumulates in the cusp of each passing moment. LaVerne and Schneider are particularly in synch: hear, in their introduction to “Old Folks,” the familiarity of years and the freshness of the instant. “Portrait of Dorian Mode,” LaVerne’s take on “How Deep Is the Ocean?” is another fine outing and an object lesson in the way a quartet ought to work together.

Originally Published