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CD Review: Walt Weiskopf Quartet

Contributors: Wilbert Sostre
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  • Genre: Jazz - Contemporary
  • Personnel:
    Musicians: Walt Weiskopf - tenor saxophone, Renee Rosnes - piano, Paul Gill - bass, Tony Reedus - drums
  • Tracks:
    Tracks: Man of Many Colors, Little Minor Love Song, Dizzy Spells/Jay Walking, Blues in the Day, Scottish Folk Song, Blame it on my youth, Love for Sale, Breakdown

Jazz is a music form based on improvisation, it is art created in the moment. So logically most of the best performings in jazz comes out in a live setting. When masters improvisers get together the result of that interaction is usually magical. That is the case with Walt Weiskpf Quartet release recorded live at Koger Hall, University of South Carolina in April 8, 2008.

This is a quartet of superb musicians at the top of their form. Walt Weiskopf is a tenor saxophonist with a sound that conveys the sound of all the sax legends. One may hear some Coltrane, Rollins, Adderley and Dexter Gordon all throughout especially in the first track "Man of Many Colors". On the second track, "Little Minor Love Song" his tone and phrasing is reminiscent of Benny Golson and on the ballad "Blame it on my youth" Weiskopf plays with the lyricism of a Lester Young. Weiskopf improvisations always has a perfect balance of surprise and coherence. Weiskopf experience includes playing with the great pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi.

Bassist Paul Gill, who also played with Akiyoshi, and dummer Tony Reedus brings the energy and swing in the rhythm section. The release is dedicated to Tony Reedus who died of a pulmonary embolism upon return from a tour of Italy a few months after this concert.

Completing the quartet is one of the best pianist in jazz today, Renne Rosnes. Impossible to choose among all the impressive improvisations by Rosnes on this album, so I won't. I recommend to listen and enjoy them all. Her crisp melodic breaks, intensity, dazzling high speed runs, and limitless stack of phrases are always surprising and exciting. Rosnes improvisations are a marriage of intellect and emotion.

Most of the compositions on this album are Weiskopf originals except, "Blame it on my youth" and Cole Porter "Love for sale".

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