Mitch Paliga

Fall Night

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Relatively few jazz musicians take up soprano sax compared to the rest of the reed family, but Mitch Paliga is one who has mastered his instrument. These 2006 sessions focus exclusively on his originals, with Jo Ann Daugherty on Fender Rhodes, guitarist John McLean bassist Patrick Williams and drummer Ryan Bennett interpreting his demanding charts. Paliga's fluid approach never gets carried away, while the sensitive rhythm section complements him, with McLean's solos also meriting attention. The heartfelt ballad "QP Doll" deserves to have lyrics. Daugherty switches to accordion and McLean to acoustic guitar for the menacing "Blues for October." "Fall Night" also casts an eerie spell, with the sparse use of the bass and the keyboard's spooky chords. One less successful piece is the dark, funky "Over and Over," a throwback to the early fusion era with a mundane vamp which distracts from Paliga's adventurous solo. Recommended.

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