Dave d'Angelo

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Dave D'Angelo's saxocentric octet (two altos, two tenors, one baritone, and piano trio) manages to walk a very thin line and do it successfully. The band's music is obviously designed to appeal to other musicians, especially sax players; the rich, complex horn charts and the generous solo space accorded each player both attest to that. But at the same time, there's none of the pointless, muso noodling that so often attends music made for musicians; track lengths average around five minutes and in many cases the solos are interspersed with ensemble recapitulations of the head. The result is a nice balance between impressive complexity and enjoyable approachability, especially on such barnburners as "In Your Dreams" and the spectacular title track. There are also several very fine ballads, one of the best of which is the standard "All My Tomorrows." Great stuff.

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