Steve LaSpina


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Steve LaSpina has made quite a name for himself as a sideman since his recording debut in the late 1970s, playing with many top musicians. But many jazz fans may not be as aware of his skills as a writer, arranger, and bandleader, as heard on his tenth CD for Steeplechase. Joined by trumpeter/fluglehornist Dave Ballou, tenor and soprano saxophonist Billy Drewes, guitarist Vic Juris, and drummer Jeff Hirschfield, old friends who are in top demand for record dates, LaSpina's charts leave plenty of room for interaction and creative solos. The rich harmonies of the horns and Juris' spacious guitar (à la Jim Hall) in "Sometime Soon" make a potent opening track. The melancholy air of "Slow Down" features an introspective solo by the leader, while the breezy "Life in the Left Lane" showcases Drewes' delicious soprano and Ballou's mellow flugelhorn. Jeff Brillinger holds things together with his subtle drumming throughout this delightful session.

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