SFJAZZ Collective

Live 2009: 6th Annual Concert Tour

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For the sixth SF Jazz Collective recording they have independently produced, the music of McCoy Tyner is the focus, and Joe Lovano remains the tenor saxophonist alongside the alto of Miguel Zenón. Founding member Joshua Redman is again off the bandstand for this double-CD of works from the late winter and early spring of 2009 on tour in Canada and the U.S. East Coast, Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and California. There's no vibraphonist this time around (neither Bobby Hutcherson nor Stefon Harris), but Renee Rosnes, Dave Douglas, Robin Eubanks, Matt Penman, and Eric Harland are present, returning from the previous ensemble's configuration. The band tackles seven Tyner compositions, mostly well-known, and a handful of originals with the same spirit and verve that marks all of their other efforts. Familiar number such as "Fly with The Wind" and "Peresina" sport playful and free introductions, especially from the inventive Rosnes, whose piano playing perfectly mirrors the image of master Tyner throughout. The delicate waltz "Three Flowers" is like most of these interpretations, once played by Tyner's big band, but now rendered in septet form, while "Four by Five" is a punched-up version. Of the originals, the stomp-down "Yes We Can - Victory Dance" for then-newly elected Pres. Barack Obama, and the supersonic bebop "Yup, We Did" stand out for their sheer energy alone. Lovano and Zenón shine as partners on these numbers, as well as the peppy but loose "No Filter," while vocal East Indian chanting offers an unexpected twist during "E-Collective." It's another effort full of music to enjoy from the stellar SF Jazz Collective, the best all-star band in the land.

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