By Dave Sumner, Bird is the Worm

While nobody is ever gonna mistake the music of Geof Bradfield for traditional, the roots of jazz have long been at the heart of his recordings and it’s not unusual for the pulse to slip into a familiar old-school cadence.  It’s an aspect of his music that has made past recordings so damn enjoyable.  Be that as it may, it’s equally refreshing to hear something where the balance shifts more to the modern end of the spectrum.  His newest isn’t free jazz by any means, but an emphasis on improvisation means that structure and shape of any one piece isn’t necessarily something that can be anticipated.  The saxophonist’s line-up consists of personnel who have received the spotlight from these parts previously, and often:  Alto saxophonist Greg Ward, flutist-saxophonist Anna Webber, trumpeters Russ Johnson and Marquis Hill, trombonist Joel Adams, guitarist Scott Hesse, bassist Clark Sommers and drummer Dana Hall.  Music from Chicago.

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