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Rocky Gordon: Alone in the Crowd

Las Vegas saxophonist Rocky Gordon favors the saxello, originally designed by King Saxophones and marked by a semi-curved bell that supposedly enhances mellow tones. Gordon may not need to add more mellowness to his sound, however; it’s already best suited for lazy Sunday mornings spent lingering over a newspaper, bagels and coffee. Spyro Gyra’s Tom Schuman produces three tracks, but fails to bring much life to forgettable melodies.

The only spark of excitement comes with the one song Gordon didn’t write, Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel.” Since McLachlan’s melody is familiar, hearing how Gordon imagined it at least brings a modicum of, shall we say, tension. Otherwise, Alone in the Crowd is aural Lunesta that focuses far too much on flighty soprano runs and lifeless melodies. There’s nothing memorable or infectious here, two deadly sins for a contemporary jazz CD.

Originally Published