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Tom Saviano: Crossings

Tom Saviano brings a versatile alto sax to Crossings (Miramar Recordings 23147; 49:26), running the gamut from modern funk and hopping fusion timing, to the occasional haunted ballad. With the stellar assistance of bassist Brian Bromberg, percussionist Lenny Castro and ubiquitous guitarist Jeff Golub, among others, Saviano struts through percolating, upbeat charmers like “You Move Me” and “That Was Then, This Is Now.” “A Leap of Faith” also falls into this category, boasting pumping bass and a neat mute trumpet counterpoint by Lee Thornberg for a pulpy, spy-novel tension. The missteps are minor, stemming mostly from dull tempos (“One More Dance”) or needless layers of dinging effects (“Night Moves”). Saviano makes up ground easily, showing his considerable chops on challenging pieces like the bittersweet “Don’t Doubt My Love,” which finds his alto exploring expressive lows and crying highs, like a vocalist. The album’s title track is another showstopper, with Randy Waldman layering sparkling piano over a creeping rhythm section for fusion exploration that struts and sparkles with chord-build tension and timing.

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