Claudio Fabi / Claudio Fasoli

Ten Tributes

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In the 1990s, some of jazz's more adventurous artists complained that a lot of young hard boppers were being much too predictable -- that too many of them were playing the same old songs the same old way and turning jazz into more and more of a repertory music. To be sure, there was a surplus of "Young Lions" who were quick to play Cole Porter and Irving Berlin songs exactly like hard boppers and post-boppers played them in the 1950s and '60s, and they would have been better off either trying something new with them or sticking to their own material. Claudio Fasoli embraces his share of often recorded standards on Ten Tributes, but thankfully, the Italian saxophonist isn't afraid to experiment with them. Leading a pianoless quintet that also includes trumpeter/flugelhornist Kenny Wheeler, electric guitarist Mick Goodrick, acoustic bassist Henri Texier, and drummer Bill Elgart, Fasoli takes a surprisingly impressionistic approach to well known songs like "Body and Soul," "Lover Man," and "Yesterdays." Although jazz fans have heard these songs countless times, Fasoli keeps things interesting by taking some risks harmonically. Equally impressionistic are the original pieces that Fasoli offers along with standards. Ten Tributes falls short of being a masterpiece, but it's a challenging date that can hardly be called generic.

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