The sky is the limit when tenor saxophone virtuoso Doug Webb turns his attention toward the "Bright Side" on his seventh release for Posi-Tone. Everything swings steadily as Webb plays with remarkable technical precision and a manifest knowledge of his materials. His tone is robust and extraordinarily well-centered, his articulation sharp, and his command of the tenor saxophone complete. Nevertheless, he is more than a mere technician, for his artistry is also considerable and this album is a crowning achievement for an artist who is as substantial a musician as jazz has ever produced. Along with the able assistance of an all-star group of label mates – who are of course all leaders in their own right – including organist Brian Charette, guitarist Ed Cherry, drummer Steve Fidyk, and special guest trumpet sensation Joe Magnarelli, Webb has fashioned a shining diadem of melodic jewels across a wide spectrum of styles and sounds! Critical listeners and casual fanatics everywhere will shine with intense delight as Webb soars onward and upward to new heights with "Bright Side".
Three hyper-progressive improvisational jazz and cross-genre artists push the envelope again on their 2nd album for Cuneiform Records. The musicians' busy schedules via numerous and largely prolific solo and group-based projects have rocketed their respective artistries into the limelight, especially ECM recording artist Michael Formanek (bass) who for the past several decades has become a household name within these circles. Nonetheless, it's an adventurous exploration, led by guitarist Mary Halvorson's signature phraseology, comprised of extended lines that vaporize into the cosmos amid her diminutive note-bending jaunts and so on. Here, drummer Tomas Fujiwara generates a buoyant underpinning with colorful accents in parallel with Formanek's fluid and powerful support.