Keshavan Maslak

Big Time

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This session from the early '80s deserves more attention than it got. Saxophonist, bandleader, and composer Keshavan Maslak eventually relocated to Miami, and sometimes performs under the name of Kenny Millions. During his Dutch hiatus in the '70s and '80s, he seemingly befriended pianist Misha Mengelberg, a good guy to have on one's side in a discography. Filling out an excellent rhythm section is a fairly young John Lindberg on bass and the bouncy drummer Charles Moffett. One thing Maslak is known for is his energy, and there is plenty of that on display here in these rip-roaring performances. For Mengelberg, it might have been a breather from his partner Han Bennink, but not all that much. Good material by the leader fills out the program, four of the titles involving the word "big." The lone cover is "2300 Skidoo" by Herbie Nichols, a pianist whose material was rediscovered and presented on full-scale tribute albums by several different jazz performers in the '90s, including a group with Mengelberg. In 1981, the saxophonist shows his savvy taste by choosing a Nichols tune, then does a great job of it with Lindberg showing his knack at playing both on and off changes. Listeners who like their chaos to come at them with a reasonable explanation may find Maslak a little hot-blooded for their taste.

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