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Jon Raskin Quartet: The Bass and the Bird Pond

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Jon Raskin, a founding member of San Francisco’s ROVA Saxophone Quartet, shifts gears away from that group’s elaborately written and meticulously arranged investigations of color and movement to lock horns with New York alto saxophone maverick Tim Berne. Rounded out by bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Elliot Kavee, this record is no mere blowing session. Berne’s affinity for dense, labyrinthine compositions makes him a good match here. Three of the four tunes (three of which were penned by Raskin, one by Berne) clock in between 17 and 22 minutes, each unspooling with numerous dramatically varied episodes.

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