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Logan Strosahl Spec Ops: Sure (Sunnyside)

A review of the saxophonist's fourth album

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Sure by Logan Strosahl Spec Ops
The cover of Sure by Logan Strosahl Spec Ops

Saxophonist Logan Strosahl has been nothing if not prolific since releasing his debut, Up Go We, on Sunnyside in 2015. That was a septet recording, as was 2017’s Book I of Arthur; in between, the newcomer released a duo set, Janus, with pianist Nick Sanders. Each of the three was an ambitious undertaking, collating influences from Renaissance-era classical music to free jazz to songbook standards. Strosahl gave the impression, from day one, that he wasn’t about taking the easy way out.

Sure, his fourth release for Sunnyside, is a trio session, with Henry Fraser on bass and Allan Mednard playing drums. Strosahl, who has heretofore stuck to the alto, adds tenor sax and flute this time. What he doesn’t do, however, is simplify the music. A trimmer format, for him, is no excuse to coast. Even when Sure touches down where saxophone-led trios often go—a walking bass serves as the foundation of “Bark,” the lead track; nothing unusual about that—there’s almost always something unconventional going on elsewhere.

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Originally Published

Jeff Tamarkin

Jeff Tamarkin on social media

Jeff Tamarkin is the former editor of Goldmine, CMJ, Relix, and Global Rhythm. As a writer he has contributed to the New York Daily News, JazzTimes, Boston Phoenix, Harp, Mojo, Newsday, Billboard, and many other publications. He is the author of the book Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane and has contributed to The Guinness Companion to Popular Music, All Music Guide, and several other encyclopedias. He has also served as a consultant to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, NARAS, National Geographic Online, and Music Club Records.