TIM WARFIELD - A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY
On his sixth Criss Cross leader date, saxophonist Tim Warfield reconvenes his bandmates – trumpeter extraordinaire Terell Stafford, Hammond B3 master Pat Bianchi, and Joey de Francesco’s drummer-of-choice Byron Landham – from the 2007 date One For Shirley (Criss 1304) for an informed, soulful exploration of American Songbook repertoire.
A life-long Pennsylvanian, Warfield learned how to navigate such terrain during a long association with the legendary Philadelphia keyboardist Shirley Scott. He applies those lessons to great effect, unfailingly channeling technical derring-do towards imperatives of emotional expression and swing.
ALEX SIPIAGIN - GENERATIONS
With Generations, his eighth Criss Cross outing as a leader, trumpeter Alex Sipiagin honors the legacy of the great Woody Shaw, reimaging five stellar pieces from Shaw’s repertoire and balancing the progam with four originals.
The quartet lineup here <> at one time formed the core of the brilliant Michael Brecker Sextet. Together, these four players bring years worth of mutual collaborative experience to the music at hand.
Woody Shaw himself appeared just once on Criss Cross, lending his extraordinary horn voice to Introducing Kenny Garrett (Criss 1014) in 1985. Shaw’s influence has long been implicit in Sipiagin’s playing – not only in the Russian-born trumpeter’s work as a leader, but also in his scorching solos with Dave Holland’s Big Band and Octet, the Mingus Big Band, the late Michael Brecker’s Sextet and Quindectet and many more.
With Generations Sipiagin makes his debt to Shaw more explicit, but he approaches these canonical works with his own individuality and imagination foremost in mind, in the determined spirit of Shaw’s song title: Beyond All Limits.
WALT WEISKOPF - SEE THE PYRAMID
See The Pyramid marks only the third occasion in Walt Weiskopf’s eleven-album relationship with Criss Cross (it began with the 1992 date Simplicity Criss 1075) on which the tenor saxophonist-composer presents his musical vision in the quartet format.
As he has done in his various nonet, octet, sextet, and quintet outtings, all executed at the highest level, Weiskopf conjures challenging twists and turns to frame his improvisations on five originals and five off-the-beaten-path standards. The results are consistently virtuosic and soulful.
His bandmates in the quartet are: Peter Zak (piano), Doug Weiss (bass), and Quincy Davis (drums).
DAVID HAZELTINE - INVERSIONS
When it comes to New York’s top-shelf gigs, few pianists get the job done like David Hazeltine. Much sought for his sensitivity as an accompanist, Hazeltine is also an inventive composer and arranger who is able to bring a fresh approach to the mainstream.
For his eighth set as a leader for Criss Cross, the pianist brings his talents to the fore with three originals, including a dedicatory For Cedar. Rounding out the set are a few select standards including a new twist on Dizzy Gillespie’s Tin Tin Deo.
Longtime collaborators Eric Alexander (tenor sax), John Webber (bass), and Joe Farnsworth (drums) mix it up with expert vibist Steve Nelson for a colorful set that puts all of Hazeltine’s wares on full display.