Steve Deutsch

Going Somewhere Fast

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Some of the more dogmatic people in the jazz world believe that an improviser isn't legitimate unless he/she is recording a lot of overdone standards, but such thinking is silly and wrong-headed. Standards are hardly mandatory, and there is no reason why an improviser shouldn't emphasize original material if he/she is so inclined -- which is exactly what Northern California reedman Steve Deutsch does on Going Somewhere Fast. There are no beaten-to-death warhorses on this 1998 release; seven of the ten tunes are Deutsch originals, while the other three were written by his sidemen. Going Somewhere Fast not only demonstrates that Deutsch is a talented composer -- it also shows the flutist/saxman to be a lyrical and warm soloist. The material is fairly accessible, and Deutsch brings a congenial outlook to melodic, introspective post-bop items like "Fancy This, Fancy That," "Samoa," and "Song for Beta." To his credit, the Northern Californian (who solos on the flute as well as the soprano, alto, and tenor saxophones) gives his sidemen plenty of room to stretch out; pianist Omar Sosa and guitarist Jack Gates are among the noteworthy soloists who are part of his Steve Deutsch Ensemble. World music has influenced some of Deutsch's work, and he incorporates everything from Afro-Cuban salsa on the title track to Indian music on "Twirlagig" (which employs a tabla player named Rattu Lama). Meanwhile, "Recife" has a strong Brazilian flavor; presumably, the piece was named after Recife, Brazil (the city that gave us Minona Carneiro, Luperce Miranda, and many other Brazilian greats). Going Somewhere Fast falls short of exceptional, but it's still a solid, likable effort that Deutsch should be proud of.

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