Trio X

The Watermelon Suite

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McPhee is such a versatile player that sparks fly whether he blows a saxophone or trumpet. Here, he performs solely on the soprano sax, joined by bassist Dominic Duval and percussionist Jay Rosen. The mood is generally more pensive than to be expected, although fires are lit in a few of the pieces. McPhee shows himself to be a thoughtful, sensitive player, where every note counts and space is just as important. "My Funny Valentine," the only recognizable tune, is played very slowly, and lyrically. When McPhee drops out for "Soundboard Safari," Duval and Rosen turn up the intensity with some stunning blowing. The title piece (actually a suite) consists of four improvised tracks, inspired by a watermelon placed by the producer. The results are somewhat mixed, though McPhee and Duval fans should find moments of inspiration.

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