David Bixler

Call It a Good Deal

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David Bixler may not be a widely familiar name to jazz fans, though he has held the first alto sax chair in the Chico O'Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, but he deserves much wider recognition for this impressive date of his own. Accompanied by trumpeter Scott Wendholt, guitarist John Hart, bassist Ugonna Ugekwo, and drummer Andy Watson, Bixler leads his group through a session of challenging, infectious originals. "Aiding and Abetting" has an amusing, sinister undercurrent built upon its catchy theme, showcasing each of the musicians in turn. The mysterious "Unraveled" has a haunting, somewhat ominous quality with Hart's sinewy guitar. "Game Face" utilizes a complex repeated motif as its root, with inventive countermelodies played against it. "Scratch and Sniff the Jive" is a funky strut where Bixler uses the full range of his instrument. The bittersweet ballad "He Cries Every Day" is pure magic and deserves lyrics if it doesn't already have some. Highly recommended.

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