Don Sebesky

Full Cycle

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From the familiar jacket design, you would swear that this LP was a souvenir from Creed Taylor's late-'60s tenure at A&M, but no, Taylor is nowhere to be found -- the year is 1984, and the label is Crescendo. What is significant are the subtle changes that have crept into Don Sebesky's sound. Here he takes five jazz standards and one should-be standard (Freddie Hubbard's "Intrepid Fox"), assembles a big band, selects and mixes colors freely instead of piling on blocks of trumpets, saxes and trombones, and adds an electric rhythm section. The results don't scream at you; they are shaded, meticulously balanced, ultimately a mellow mutation of Sebesky's CTI work, and in the cases of "Waltz for Debby" and "All Blues," bordering on the sound and ethos of Gil Evans. Sebesky's supporting cast isn't nearly as starry as those on his CTI projects but you do hear Jon Faddis on trumpet and flugelhorn, the still-little-known Eddie Daniels on reeds, and Sebesky himself on electric piano. And the charts are not easy; the winds and brasses have their hands full switching instruments within each selection. While this is not on CD yet, the LP and cassette versions remain in print at this date.

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