Rick Margitza

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The problem with tenor saxophonist Rick Margitza at this early stage in his career was that he sounded almost exactly like Wayne Shorter with a strong streak of John Coltrane on ballads. Margitza partly overcomes his lack of individuality by giving the standards on his CD some fresh interpretations. The melody of "On Green Dolphin Street" sneaks up about halfway through and then is barely hinted at, while the theme of "Just in Time" does not pop up until just before the closing vamp. Margitza displays maturity on "Body & Soul" and "Everything Happens to Me" and is quite stormy on the more up-tempo material. Trumpeter Tim Hagans' guest appearance on "Beware of the Dogs" really seems to inspire Margitza, and the rhythm section (pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Robert Hurst, and drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts) is excellent. Now if only Margitza could solve his identity problem.

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