Teodross Avery

My Generation

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Young saxophonist Teodross Avery's recording covers a lot of ground, from explorative improvisations that sound as if they really belong on Impulse to selections that use a funky (and even a light hip-hop) rhythm and a straightforward ("Mr. Wonsey") boppish blues. Avery has strong technique and his sound, particularly on tenor (where he hints at Stanley Turrentine, and to a lesser extent, Sonny Stitt), is gradually becoming personal. He is joined by bassist Rodney Whitaker and drummer Greg Hutchinson on every selection along with either John Scofield, Mark Whitfield, or Peter Bernstein on guitar or pianist Charles Craig. Of the supporting crew, only Scofield (who creates some very unusual and distorted sounds on his guitar during "Theme for Malcolm") makes much of an impression and Avery seems to be most comfortable with the pianist (who is on four of the 11 selections). "Lover Man" sounds surprisingly passionless (showing that Avery is not yet mature enough to uplift veteran ballads) and there is an annoying (and meaningless) 35-second rap on the title cut that lowers the quality of the record. The overall results are generally enjoyable, if not all that memorable or unique.

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