Tony Coe

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Tony Coe has long been one of Great Britain's finest saxophonists, a versatile musician able to play quite credibly in idioms ranging from swing and hard bop to the avant-garde. This release from the English Zah Zah label finds Coe (who switches between tenor, clarinet and soprano) revisting his roots by performing melodic interpretations of standards including a couple of originals that are based on the chords of veteran songs. Coe, who is joined by pianist Brian Dee, bassist Matt Miles and drummer Steve Arguelles, is often reminiscent of Paul Gonsalves on tenor, plays soprano in tune and has an appealing tone in all the ranges of his clarinet. Although a very fluid player, he mostly sounds quite relaxed and thoughtful during the performances. Among the more notable tracks on "My Shining Hour," "More Than You Know" (a clarinet-piano duet), "I Didn't Know What Time It Was" and "Some Other Autumn" (based on "Autumn Leaves"). There are a few heated moments but overall this is a relaxed set that mostly shows off the warmth of Tony Coe.

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