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Mark Soskin: Five Lands

Mark Soskin is most noted for his long association with Sonny Rollins, but that gig hardly affords sidemen much of an identity given the understandable dominance of the colossus. Maybe Soskin had that in mind when he decided to give this session over to 10 duet settings with five close friends, guitarist John Abercrombie, cellist Erik Friedlander, vibist Joe Locke, bassist Harvie Swartz, and saxman Walt Weiskopf. Though this is Soskin’s date, a spirit of partnership permeates the proceedings, from the warm lattice work of piano and vibes he weaves with Locke on the opener, “Lookout Street.”

There is a sense of simpatico that runs throughout this disc as Soskin and friends chart neatly complimentary courses through a program of the pianist’s original music. A high point is achieved with Weiskopf on Now Then, where Soskin’s lovely sense of interplay neatly intertwines with the saxophonists pensive attack. Don’t expect hard blowing or vivid chase scenes, this is good music for those contemplative moments in life.

Originally Published