Jesper Thilo

Jesper Thilo and the American Stars, Vol. 2

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Jesper Thilo, a swinging tenor saxophonist from Denmark, has Zoot Sims as his musical role model, although he also sounds a bit like Johnny Griffin on "Cherokee" and otherwise displays a bit of his own personality in his solos. Thilo recorded a series of albums for Storyville in the 1980s that teamed him with some notable American all-stars. This sampler has three songs apiece from four of the dates and two from a fifth project. The first three selections match Thilo with flügelhornist Clark Terry (who always sounds so jubilant) and a trio with pianist Kenny Drew. Thilo is quite warm on "Body and Soul" and Terry is wonderful on "Cotton Tail." The next three numbers have Thilo mostly in the spotlight, since it is a quartet session with Drew. There are also three numbers with trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison and the superior pianist Ole Kock Hansen, a trio of selections with the Sir Roland Hanna Trio, and finally a matchup with trombonist Al Grey. There are no throwaway tracks and the music is highly recommended to fans of the styles of Zoot Sims and Al Cohn. Hopefully, Storyville will reissue the complete contents of these five rewarding sessions at some point in the future.

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