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Pete Christlieb: The Tenor Deacon

Pete Christlieb

It’s Friday night in Woodland Hills, Calif. We’re at Fitzgerald’s, the sports bar in the local Hilton that’s occasionally refitted as a jazz room. Tenor saxophonist Pete Christlieb is on tap tonight, appealing to a select group of rapt fans and also braving the inevitable table of disrespectful chatterboxes. He dishes out inspiring solos on familiar themes such as “Song for My Father.” The tune could be a lounge-about pseudo-samba, but it instead goes places you don’t expect.

It’s not unreasonable to assume this is the hottest saxophone-playing in any Hilton in the world on this night.

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