David Schumacher

Endangered Species

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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.

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