Tony Gairo


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The Sea Breeze label is known for discovering and recording deserving musicians who might otherwise be under the radar of larger outfits. Reedman Tony Gairo and drummer Gary Rismiller jointly make their debut recording as leaders on this progressive big band through eight of Gairo's impressive originals. The well-named "Treacherous" was inspired by a late-night drive through a snowstorm, yet the band negotiates each of the twists that he throws into this challenging chart. The humorous "Deadlines, Distractions, and Diversions" seems to approach the listener from several angles at once, yet it swings mightily. "Supermarket Sushi" is just a fun blowing vehicle. The closing track, "Revisited," is a brisk extended blues workout, with Paul Kendall's burning baritone sax kicking off the first of many fine solos. In addition to numerous other potent soloists within this 16-piece band (with many of the men doubling on two or more instruments), Gairo himself is no slouch in the spotlight, being a triple threat on clarinet, tenor sax, and soprano sax, while Rismiller anchors the solid rhythm section. Recommended.

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