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Sigi Finkel: Sweet Sue

Their artfully textured compositions might need their own “special station” to garner radio airplay, but Sigi Finkels’ Special Station should attract saxophone-loving listeners looking for more musical and emotional adventure than the average sax idol has to offer.

From the outset of Sweet Sue (AMM-JL 11143-2; 60:14), sax-wielding bandleader Finkels hits you with a curveball in “Almost a Reggae”: yes, it has that loping drum tempo; yes, you can dance to it; but Finkels renders things prickly, dark and brassy with his powerful and unexpected horn section. Along the same crooked lines, Sweet Sue is neither gentle ballad nor bluesy lapine-but a rockin’, fiery fusion piece with scorching guitar licks leading the way…and it doesn’t even stay in that vein for long. The German-born Finkels also enjoys contrasting instrumental colors with his moaning, mournful sax work on pieces like the sparse, sad “Domino Blue” and “So Long,” which project images of loss and longing.

Excellent counterpoint and support from such voices as John Abercrombie on guitar help Finkels’ unique visions spring to life.

Originally Published