Eliot Zigmund

Breeze

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Drummer Eliot Zigmund is still likely best known for his tenure in the Bill Evans Trio of the mid-'70s and later work in Michel Petrucciani's trio, though it has been decades since he worked in either group. This is his fourth date as a leader, and he's joined by saxophonist Mike Lee, bassist Phil Palombi, and pianist Gary Versace (whose primary instrument has usually been organ, though he returns to his first instrument on occasion), all of whom contribute originals along with the leader. The leader's compositions include the languid ballad "After" (a great feature for Lee's soulful tenor), the easygoing bossa nova "Breeze" (with Lee on soprano), and the driving post-bop vehicle "From the Bottom Up." Versace penned the melancholy ballad "Homeland" and Lee wrote the strutting opener, "School Night," while Palombi's intricate "For Scott" is obviously a tribute to Scott LaFaro, the promising bass virtuoso in the Evans trio who died far too young. One can hear a bit of Evans' influence in Versace's linear playing in the one standard of the date, "I Wish I Knew." Zigmund's soft-handed touch adds just the right chemistry to each song throughout the session, particularly when he is using brushes.

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