Mark Isham

Blue Sun

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    8
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A fine album by this trumpeter better known for film scores and Windham Hill new age electronics than for jazz. However, on this outing, Mark Isham struts his jazz stuff. Although the instrumentation includes electric bass, occasional electric piano, and a sprinkling of atmospheric electronics, the feel here is of an acoustic recording of the cool jazz school. Isham's quintet includes Steve Tavaglione on tenor saxophone and David Goldblatt on piano, both of whom inform this music with elegance and grace. Isham himself has never sounded better on record, recalling the Miles Davis of the '50s at times, and the rhythm section of drummer Kurt Wortman and bassist Doug Lunn keeps the music moving at a relaxed pace. Isham's work in his Windham Hill days was, while interesting, easily identifiable and properly classified in the new age bin. Here, he has moved in a new, classy direction, proving he can write and perform well-crafted music of substance.

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