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Scott McLeod Trio: The Scott McLeod Trio

Tenor saxophonist Scott McLeod’s smoking, eponymous trio CD with organist Ryan Weaver and drummer Brian Sullivan is a straightahead affair. Trumpeter and producer Jon Thornton joins the group on three tracks. The young Charlotte, N.C. musicians acquit themselves admirably at every turn. The leader’s throaty tenor work conveys a bristling, Michael Brecker-like modernity (with shades of Billy Harper, too), while he also molds notes and phrases in the manner of older players such as Lockjaw Davis and Illinois Jacquet. Weaver is a riveting organist more along the lines of Larry Young rather than Jimmy Smith.

Most of the performances are bright and hard charging, with the group out for blood in every solo. Thornton plays superbly in an angular, hard bop, Woody Shaw style on “Don’t Leave Mad, Just Leave,” “Caravan,” and “Relaxin’.” McLeod outdoes himself on “Professional Person” with low-to-altissimo leaps and rhythmic energy. Weaver’s rifling runs and Sullivan’s crisp drumming are catalysts for excitement on each track. Watch out for these cats.

Originally Published