Thomas Savy

French Suite

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French bass clarinetist Thomas Savy might mistakenly be seen as someone who takes classical music to heart with the concept of a full-blown suite, but be assured he's most interested in neo-bop and modern jazz. With bassist Scott Colley and drummer Bill Stewart, Savy plays a resonant and resounding brand of music, where each section of his suite can easily stand alone, and is coordinated with the other parts. In softer or harder tones, the music is always swinging, as Savy plays simple, rich, and effective melody lines, rarely if ever crossing over into overblown harmonics. The actual eight-part suite moves from loose and free to a steady stream of mainstream jazz, sometimes with deeper unison lines with Colley's bass during "Atlantique Nord," or in a sly, subterranean mood for "Stones." "E & L" and "L & E" are associated by their light, airy quality, as are takes on Duke Ellington's "Come Sunday" and John Coltrane's "Lonnie's Lament". Otherwise, Savy is quite capable of playing some exciting music on "Ignition" and "My Big Apple," inspired by his bandmates who are well-versed in the New York City-based, hard-charging contemporary jazz of the '70s up to now, This solid effort marks a coming of age not only from Savy, but many other bass clarinetists like Jason Stein and Paul Austerlitz, who also play the deep-throat woodwind exclusively.

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