Jazz Institute of Chicago

Mark Colby: Tenor Reference

Mark Colby: Tenor Reference

Mark Colby is simply one of finest tenor soloists working today. He has paid his dues with Maynard, Gerry Mulligan, Jaco, Bob James, Charlie Haden, Mose Allison and even Frank Sinatra. Every major city has a tenor soloist or perhaps a few, Chicago has Mark Colby. On this recording, named after Colby's teenage goal—play a Selmer Mark VI tenor sax—the focus is on the of the basics of jazz: high level solos and quartet interplay.

Surrounded by great musicians, Miami pianist Vince Maggio, bassist Eric Hochberg, drummer Bob Rummage and trumpeter Rob Parton, Colby extends his view of modern jazz over a program of standards, blues and originals. He has his influences, from Joe Henderson to Coleman Hawkins, synthesized into a voice and approach of his own.

The theme of Blues of a Kind is strongly influenced by Miles' All Blues; Maggio's impressionistic piano introduces My One and Only Love, then Colby's lush sound gives us the melody for a superb ballad performance. The uptempo duet of Rummage and Colby draw us into Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise before the rest of the quartet join in. Then, check Maggio's pointalistic solo against broken time, alone and then again (two handed-lines) with the rhythm section‐a fine departure from the conventional quartet solo format. Rob Parton, known elsewhere for his great lead chops, appears on a few tracks but makes good use of his space as a fine soloist in the spirit of Clifford Brown and everything Blue Note.

Apart from the overall strength and content of the music, this is a very courageous "live" recording from the Jazz Showcase. No editing and not a note out of place, a very important Chicago recording.-MV

Available via Hallway Records at www.hallwayrecords.com or call 773-292-1891.

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