Charles Gayle Trio

Abiding Variations

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This is one of the trailblazing saxophonist's most accessible sets, as he turns down the volume somewhat, focuses more on the melodic side, and displays a slightly different dimension to his playing. Longtime Gayle admirers should not be disappointed, as they will still find the requisite shrieks, squawks, and general level of intensity that has attracted the saxophonist to so many. He blows mostly tenor saxophone (with some bass clarinet, but no piano or vocals), and is backed only by bassist Vattel Cherry and drummer Michael Wimberly, both of whom Gayle has recorded elsewhere. Although the title alludes to a religious theme, the music appears to be free from overt religious references (unlike some of his other recordings). Not breaking new ground, but showing a special side of Gayle, this CD should be a welcome addition by his devotees.

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