Bob Magnuson

Omens

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AllMusic Review by

Bob Magnuson is able to straddle the ins and outs of modern jazz without seemingly little difficulty. Here, the tenor saxophonist co-leads a startlingly original pianoless quartet with drummer Tom DeSteno. Snaking their way through a set of compellably original tunes, the group expands beyond the limited instrumentation of two saxes, bass, and drums to produce Ornette-like melodies and harmonies that stick with you well after the music has stopped. Jemeel Moondoc is a perfect companion for Magnuson, and the alto saxophonist's searing lines meld well with Magnuson's more earthy and fluid tones. On bass is Dominic Duval, who is as intense and virtuosic as ever. While the results push the limits of melodic invention, as with Ornette's tunes from the late 50s and early 60s, there is a consistent underlying harmonic interplay that holds it all tightly together. Magnuson knows how to write melodies that hook the listener. The wild, collective sax solos should cause even the most discerning critics to stand up and notice this largely unknown talent.

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