Andrew Rathbun

Where We Are Now

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Saxophonist Andrew Rathbun has continuously grown as a composer and player since his debut release as a leader in 2000. This is his ninth CD and third for Steeplechase, with rising young pianist George Colligan (a formidable composer and bandleader himself), guitarist Nate Radley, bassist Johannes Weidenm├╝ller, and veteran drummer Billy Hart skillfully interpreting Rathbun's pieces. Starting off with his impressive four-part "Son Suite" (dedicated to his young son Drew), Rathbun utilizes his tenor and soprano instruments both individually and together, while he "tells a story," as Lester Young liked to say, of a talented musician. Also of note are "A Stern," which initially suggests an avant-garde mood before transforming into exotic post-bop as the full quintet joins Colligan and Weidenm├╝ller, with Rathbun's searing soprano prominent, and the robust cooker "Lament," which belies its title. Hart's powerful and insightful drumming is an asset throughout the date.

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