Walt Weiskopf

Siren

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Siren is Walt Weiskopf's second nonet project for Criss Cross since 1995's Song for My Mother. Joining the tenor saxophonist again are Jim Snidero on alto, Anders Bostrom on flute, Scott Robinson on bari sax and bass clarinet, Joe Magnarelli on trumpet, and Conrad Herwig on trombone. Pianist Joel Weiskopf, bassist Doug Weiss, and drummer Billy Drummond make up the rhythm section.

Weiskopf's arrangements are lush and well-crafted, especially on the ballad "Close Your Eyes," the artless and brief reading of "Baby Won't You Please Come Home," and the evocative waltz "Night in Ferrara." The flame is turned up on the burning "Zone" and Snidero's 6/8 hard bop chart "In a Daze." Bostrom's alto flute solo on the breezily swinging title track is one of the album's best moments. Snidero's alto sax on the same cut brings to mind Cannonball Adderley's solo on the Miles Davis classic "So What."

Weiskopf's tenor playing is fiery and inspired, and his fellow soloists are incredible, but one almost wishes there were more adventurous writing of the sort heard on the cryptic opening track, "Glass Eye," which fades out at just under two minutes.

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