Across 7 Street

Made in New York

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In jazz terminology, the term "front line" doesn't refer to wartime combat; the term refers to the horn players in a small group. Most front lines in jazz quintets consist of trumpet and sax, but rarely does one encounter a bop or post-bop front line that excludes the trumpet and opts for a sax/trombone union instead. However, the combination of tenor sax and trombone without a trumpet worked marvelously well for the Jazz Crusaders in the '60s, and it's a combination that Across 7 Street uses to their advantage on Made in New York. That isn't to say that this N.Y.C. group is in a class with the Jazz Crusaders or that Across 7 Street actually sounds like them, only that the tenor/trombone front line is a big part of this album's appeal. Tenor player Chris Byars and trombonist John Mosca are a likable combination, and the hard bop group has a solid rhythm section in pianist Sacha Perry, bassist Ari Roland, and drummer Danny Rosenfeld. To their credit, the musicians do all of the writing themselves -- they don't perform any overdone warhorses -- and the material has a strong '50s flavor. Made in New York is an appropriate title for this CD -- not only because it really was recorded in the Big Apple, but also because it fondly recalls a time when Bud Powell, J.J. Johnson, Max Roach, Art Taylor, and a young Sonny Rollins were all part of the Manhattan club scene. There is no acknowledgment of modal jazz, avant-garde jazz, jazz-funk, or fusion on this release; Made in New York is bop all the way, and the performances sound like they could have been recorded in 1953 or 1954 instead of 2002. While Made in New York falls short of mind-blowing, it's a solid and respectable, if derivative, outing that fans of '50s-style bop will enjoy.

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