Hal Stein

Spirit!

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Seventy-six at the time of this CD, veteran tenor saxophonist Hal Stein is remarkably heard in prime form. Perhaps best known for his occasional recordings in the '50s, Stein had long lived in the San Francisco Bay area and had not recorded in quite awhile before cutting this quartet date in 2005. His large tone and style are at times a bit reminiscent of early Sonny Rollins and Don Byas but Stein mostly sounds like himself, and he shows that he has not lost a thing through the years. Joined by a fine local rhythm section that includes pianist Lee Bloom, Stein explores some of his favorite songs, including several obscurities such as Herbie Nichols' catchy "Shuffle Montgomery," André Previn's "Two for the Seesaw," and the always welcome "Autumn Nocturne." This high-quality straight-ahead jazz set is highly recommended.

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