George Garzone: Four’s and Two’s

This is an aggressive recording. That may be obvious in the cover sticker proclaiming Garzone and his linemate Joe Lovano the “2 premier innovators in Jazz.” It may be inherent in a set entitled “Four’s and Two’s,” featuring two tenor saxophonists. But the aggressive character lies not so much in aggression as in a joyful refusal to let any element of the music stand unchallenged. With Joey Calderazzo on piano, John Lockwood on bass, and Bill Snider on drums, the band thoroughly probes six Garzone compositions and three others; Garzone and Lovano played paired sopranos on one tune, Garzone essays two by himself with the rhythm section, and they close the set with a marvelous duet study of Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood.” And if the claim to primacy in the realm of jazz seems at best an effort to ride too high on Lovano’s coat-tails, there’s still much pride to be taken in the quality of this recital. – Bill Bennett