Loren Pickford's more aggressive side prevailed when the alto saxophonist recorded his first album as a leader, Song for a Blue Planet, which has a lot more in common with the intensity of Jackie McLean and Phil Woods than the subtlety of Paul Desmond or Lee Konitz. Passion, not restraint, is the rule on this post-bop/hard bop session, and he brings plenty of it to interpretations of "The Sweetest Sounds" and "Alone Together," as well as originals that include the haunting "All the Long Afternoons" and the driving title song. Pickford is well served by his sidemen, who include pianist George Cables, drummer Billy Higgins, guitarist George Roessler, and bassist John Heard. Planet demonstrated that while Pickford wasn't an innovator, he was hardly lacking when it came to soulful enthusiasm.
Song for a Blue Planet Review
by Alex Henderson