Wally Schnalle

It Rhymes

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Wally Schnalle wrote and arranged all 14 numbers for his debut, which includes five brief transitions for his drums and synth. His quintet/sextet features a variety of talented (if currently obscure) and versatile musicians; their adaptability is fortunate, for the music Schnalle wrote covers several unclassifiable styles that fall between the mainstream and the so-called contemporary. The rhythms might be quite funky at times, and synthesizers pop up here and there (as does a turntable on one piece), but the solos are creative and the grooves quite catchy. Tenor saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh particularly distinguishes himself during his three appearances in a straight-ahead setting, while Kris Strom on soprano hints strongly at Wayne Shorter in his Weather Report days. Even if a few of the selections end prematurely (none exceed six minutes), this is an impressive beginning for Wally Schnalle, a fine drummer with inventive ideas.

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