Gary Hassay

Another Shining Path

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Alto saxophonist Gary Hassay leads a stellar trio called Ye Ren (a name with "no real meaning," according to Hassay) for its debut recording. The eight tracks are distinguished for their sensitive interplay, synergy, and unique style. With all-star bassist William Parker and sparkling Philadelphia percussionist Toshi Makihara as the other partners, the group achieves something special on almost every cut. Hassay boasts a lyrical, often subdued, self-effacing approach, which puts him in an attractive light. Eschewing some of the postmodern techniques embraced by other freestyle saxophonists, Hassay instead forges a different path, relying on a dry tone, clipped phrases, and short, thoughtful excursions. Makihara continues to impress as an upcoming giant, and fans of Parker will not be disappointed.

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