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Marlus Burger/Jan Von Klewitz: Spiritual Standards

The title refers to hymn and carol tunes which, one gathers, are well-known in Germany. American gospel is based on a very different system, owing less to European tonal thinking than to what W. C. Handy called a “groping racial sense of harmony”, essentially the same as that of jazz. Klewitz’ sax and Burger’s piano have no such framework at their disposal, and while there are nice moments in their improvisations, the tendency toward sparsely impressionistic development wears thin for me.

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