Elias Haslanger

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Long a well-kept secret in Texas, Elias Haslanger is a talented tenor and soprano saxophonist with warm tones on his instruments and the ability to improvise in a variety of settings. Joined by a fine local rhythm section and (on six of the ten numbers) hard bop trumpeter Tito Carrillo, Haslanger performs a set of modern straight-ahead originals in addition to sounding quite warm on Duke Ellington's "Just Squeeze Me," one of two songs that have Ellis Marsalis guesting on piano. There are no slow moments on this stimulating set, Haslanger consistently comes up with fresh ideas, and although somewhat obscure, this is one of the best jazz recordings released in 1998.

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