Brooke Sofferman

One Stone Two Birds

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Although Brooke Sofferman is a fine drummer, on this set (his third as a leader), he is perhaps most significant as a composer/arranger. His ten originals tend to be episodic, full of subtle surprises and very tricky rhythmically yet swinging in their own fashion and witty. In addition, Sofferman arranged a couple movements from Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite (which becomes "Griegarious Skang") and the theme from Magnum P.I. His longtime group is tight, alert, and very familiar with these pieces, which is fortunate considering how easy it would be to stumble during the arrangements. Tenor saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi has long been an unheralded giant, trumpeter Phil Grenadier (occasionally hinting at Don Cherry) is excellent, and guitarist Norm Zocher has plenty of good spots for his distinctive sound and inventive style. Actually, there are no weak points to the group and or throwaway selections, for every moment of this CD is intriguing and a bit unpredictable. It is well worth several listens.

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