Saskia Laroo

Sunset Eyes 2000

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In 1999, Dutch trumpeter Saskia Laroo traveled to Los Angeles, where she joined forces with tenor sax great Teddy Edwards and recorded her fourth album, Sunset Eyes 2000. Any album that prominently features Edwards (who she co-led the session with) is at least noteworthy, and to be sure, the tenor veteran is in good to excellent form on this hard bop date. Laroo's previous straight-ahead album, Jazzkia, was essentially a tribute to Miles Davis, one in which her love of Davis' legacy was so strong that it drowned out any individuality. Laroo doesn't sound distinctive on Sunset Eyes 2000 either, but even so, her solos on this album are likable and competent. Recalling Miles Davis in the '40s and '50s, Laroo is a very lyrical player, and Edwards can certainly be quite lyrical and melodic himself. But while Edwards favors a big, fat tone and swings hard and passionately, Laroo is much more subtle, restrained, and economical (as was Davis). Edwards' confident, focused solos on both standards and his own compositions make Sunset Eyes 2000 worth the price of admission, and singer Ernie Andrews' inspired guests spots on "Don't Touch Me" and "Sunset Eyes" aren't anything to complain about either. Sunset Eyes 2000 falls short of being a gem, but it's a satisfying, decent effort that bop fans will enjoy.

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