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Rocky Gordon: Perfect World

It’s a shame, but the very rough independent-production quality of saxophonist Rocky Gordon’s Perfect World (Misata Entertainment Group) makes it difficult to give the music a reasonable evaluation. The mix isolates the individual instruments rather than creating a unifying sound or depth, giving the impression that Gordon’s leads are either too prominent and piercing (as on the uptempo groover “Secret Admirer”) or somehow off-timed to the rhythm section (the brisk, snaking “Lighthouse”). The production also leaves arrangements hard to discern, and horns sounding reedy and thin. This is unfortunate, as careful listening reveals Gordon’s talent for crafting a melody, as on the sinewy “South Retrieval,” and devising understated memorable hooks, as on the piano-driven “Miki Breath.”

Originally Published