Craig Yaremko

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The pianoless quartet led by saxophonist Craig Yaremko is at times reminiscent of the Ornette Coleman Quartet of the early '60s or the Gerry Mulligan Quartet of a decade earlier, but there are also performances where it sounds like neither group. The music ranges from cool-toned bop to post-bop and free bop, with bassist Bill Moring and drummer Steve Johns playing quiet and subtle supporting roles that keep the momentum flowing. The interplay between trumpeter Nathan Eklund and Yaremko (who is heard on alto, tenor, soprano, flute, and bass clarinet) is quite invigorating and infectious. Their renditions of Irving Berlin's "Remember," Jobim's "Zingaro," and the Beatles' "Michelle" are fresh and rhythmically surprising. The originals are up to the same high level, with Yaremko's versatility (he is equally skilled on each of his instruments) and Eklund's mellow tone being major assets. A fun set of music that is both traditional and forward-looking.

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