Tom Varner Quartet / Tom Varner


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Tom Varner has turned the French horn into an instrument not relegated exclusively to providing background color or occasional solos in strictly orchestral or large jazz ensemble settings. This 1982 concert features Varner leading an explosive quartet with alto saxophonist Ed Jackson, bassist Ed Schuller, and drummer Billy Hart through his demanding originals. The performances are full of lively experimentation by the musicians, with Varner often suggesting a trombone on his instrument with his rapid-fire technique. His amusing "Neutron Bomb Shuffle" is described by its composer to liner note writer Nat Hentoff as "the skeletons and cockroaches dancing in a chorus line after the bomb hits." The last three tracks, added to the CD reissue of this disc, feature Adam Nussbaum taking Hart's place on drums, though these songs also come from the same 1982 concert. Highly recommended!

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