George Adams

America

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This is one of tenor saxophonist George Adams' funnest records. He takes eight songs, all of which now qualify as American folk songs (along with two originals), and gives them melodic but inventive treatments. "America the Beautiful" starts out with a Sousa march before Adams takes a chorus fairly straight, leading to interesting tonal variations. "Georgia" is treated as a tasteful ballad, "You Are My Sunshine" is given a funky background, and, best of all, "Take Me out to the Ballgame" becomes an unaccompanied tenor solo -- at one point Adams makes clicking sounds that are very similar to a ball hitting a mitt. He sings three numbers, the rhythm section (comprised of pianist Hugh Lawson, bassist Cecil McBee, and drummer Mark Johnson) is fine in support, and Adams (who plays both his humming flute and tenor on "Old Folks at Home") is heard in top form. This CD is accessible, patriotic, and a highly recommended and continually surprising set.

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