European Quartet Live [Digipak]by Andy Middleton
Andy Middleton is a modern jazz saxophonist who has warm and fairly original tones on tenor and soprano. He worked with Lionel Hampton, Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker, and Maria Schneider while living in the United States, has long been a busy music educator (he currently teaches at the Vienna Conservatory), and in recent times relocated to Vienna after having had 45 tours of Europe in his career. On The European Quartet Live he teams up with two Americans who are living in Germany and the German pianist Tino Derado. The six lengthy performances (the briefest ones clock in at 9:50) include pieces derived from a Gregorian chant and a recording of ethnic Afghan music, plus four thoughtful Middleton originals. Although the music may be relaxed, plenty of sparks fly from Middleton's tenor (which sometimes hints a little at Joe Lovano or Michael Brecker) and his fluent soprano. In addition, Tino Derado shows some fire in improvisations that occasionally recall Keith Jarrett and Bobo Stenson without being a close copy of either. With bassist Paul Imm and drummer Alan Jones offering stimulating support, this is an enjoyable and accessible set of modern jazz by musicians who deserve to be much better known in the U.S.
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- Q-Rious Music
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