Giovanni Russonello, The New York Times

The alto saxophonist Greg Ward’s new album, “Stomping Off From Greenwood,” has the rusted, resonant sound of so much beat-driven jazz coming from Chicago natives today (Jeff Parker, Makaya McCraven, Marquis Hill). But its instrumentation — alto sax, two guitars, bass, drums — calls to mind another standout album from last year, Logan Richardson’s “Blues People.” Like Richardson on his album, Ward bobs gracefully through a coolly plotted improvisation on “The Contender” as his rhythm section handles a stop-and-start polyrhythm, creating friction and expectation and the illusion of an incline for Ward to climb.

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