Dave Glasser

Above the Clouds

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The rather cheesy photo of Dave Glasser holding his alto saxophone "above the clouds" might lead prospective listeners to believe they should prepare themselves for cocktail jazz or perhaps Kenny G.'s heir. Luckily though, Above the Clouds has been released on Arbors, signifying a cocktail of a different sort. In fact, Glasser receives about the highest endorsement a player could wish for. The liner notes have been written by Nat Hentoff, who has been writing about jazz for 50 years. Glasser, like a number of artists on the Arbors label, delves heavily into mainstream jazz tradition, drawing from the classic songbook and favorites like "In a Sentimental Mood" and Irving Berlin's "Easter Parade." Even Glasser originals like "A Little Funky" and "Stitt's Bits" sit well within the traditional jazz framework. He's joined by pianist Larry Ham, bassist Dennis Irwin, and drummer Carl Allen. The 12th cut is somewhat of a surprise, a jazzed-up take of "I've Been Working on the Railroad," and it serves as a happy, easygoing finale. For those who miss the melodic saxophones and small-band combos of the '50s and '60s, Glasser's Above the Clouds will prove both lyrical and nostalgic.

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