Avram K. Fefer

Calling All Spirits

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Three things strike the listener immediately upon hearing this recording. The first is the big tone that Avram Fefer projects on saxophone, particularly on the opening tune, an unusual version of Mingus' "Orange Was the Color of Her Dress" in which Fefer recalls the cavernous sound of Coleman Hawkins. The second is Fefer's sense of melody. The saxophonist has little difficulty exposing himself in front of only bass and drums, a risky business to be sure, but one in which he appears comfortable, in part due to his grasp of a song's essence. Which brings you to the third characteristic, his ability to take a familiar (or at least seemingly familiar) song and turn it inside out without emasculating its essence. Now, these factors alone do not in themselves make for a great recording, but when combined with some very fine improvising by all three members of the trio and a real sense of each player listening closely to the others, the results are sure to please. Other than the last piece, which has Fefer the tenor saxophonist duo-ing with Fefer the bass clarinetist in a display of careful overdubbing in an odd meter, there are no gimmicks or unconventional techniques. Rather, there is consistently creative arranging, a strong choice of tunes, and good blowing. More than decent fare.

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