It is obvious from the start of Endangered Species that baritonist David Schumacher has a strong sense of humor. "Too Tonal Free!Dumb?" sounds like the beginning of a bad hip-hop record, but it also lasts 37 seconds before Schumacher starts swinging on "Henry's Mad Crazy Blues." Very much a straight-ahead player although open to some of the tonal variations of the avant-garde, Schumacher makes his claim to being one of jazz's top baritonists throughout this fun set. There are a couple of departures into poetry (featuring his gravelly voice), but the emphasis is mostly on bebop, blues, and ballads, with "It's the Same Old Dream" being a heartfelt example of the latter. On "Arch's Nutty Variation," Schumacher switches horns and battles Neil Otter and Ned Goold in a tenor summit worthy of Sonny Stitt. Organist Rob Bargad and trombonist Robert Trowers are also strong assets on various selections. Highly recommended to modern bop fans.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow