Peter C. Barenbregge

PF Flyer

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If you're a serious jazz enthusiast, one of the fun things to do when you visit a city is check out its local improvisers. A city that has any type of jazz scene is bound to have some jazzmen who are fixtures in local clubs. Recorded in Springfield, VA, in 2000, PF Flyer finds the Tempe, AZ-based Summit Records turning the spotlight on five musicians from the Washington, D.C., area. The musicians who co-lead this acoustic session, saxman Pete BarenBregge and drummer Frank Russo, are both from that area -- and so are the album's three other players: pianist Fred Hughes, bassist Tom Cecil, and drummer Steve Zerlin. While PF Flyer isn't a masterpiece, it is a decent (if conventional) hard bop/post-bop outing. The musicians play a few overdone standards, including "I Love You" and "What's New." But new material is plentiful, and the noteworthy pieces that Hughes contributes range from "Song for TH" (a thoughtful tune that was inspired by trumpeter Tom Harrell) to the charming "The Summer Rain" and the peaceful, good-natured "Day Dreaming." The latter brings to mind some of John Coltrane's more tranquil offerings (such as "Central Park West") as well as the work of saxman Charles Lloyd (who has often been described as a more mellow admirer of Coltrane). BarenBregge (who is heard on tenor and soprano sax as well as flute) and his associates are also enjoyable on Chick Corea's "Tones for Joan's Bones," which was the title song of that famous pianist/keyboardist's first album as a leader (back in 1966). PF Flyer isn't innovative or forward-thinking; although recorded in 2000, it could just as easily have been recorded in 1965 or 1970. But it's a swinging effort that paints a likable picture of the D.C.-area musicians.

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