Jerome SabbaghThe Turn
Longevity is a word rarely associated with jazz ensembles these days. The difficulty in retaining a long lasting musical relationship with any one collaborator is hard enough, let alone trying to keep a quartet together.
An ensemble that has weathered the obstacles and remained a cohesive unit should be celebrated. Saxophonist/composer Jerome Sabbagh has led his tremendous quartet for ten years, a rare display of stability in jazz today. Over the years, the band has developed a unique sound, which stems in no small part from the high level of musicianship involved.
Together with guitarist Ben Monder, bassist Joe Martin and drummer Ted Poor, Sabbagh has recorded his third album as a leader, The Turn: a terrific reminder of the incredible results that can be achieved by a group of dedicated and talented musicians in complete rapport.
The Turn was recorded live to analog tape by the acclaimed engineer James Farber (Brad Mehldau, John Scofield and Joshua Redman) and mastered by the legendary Doug Sax (Pink Floyd, Diana Krall, Ray Charles and Sonny Rollins), yielding a sound that is clear, natural and warm, highlighting the band s sonic signature.
As a saxophonist, Jerome Sabbagh is an heir to the jazz tradition along with being a part of the eclectic and vibrant New York jazz scene of today. His attachment to lyricism has helped him forge a distinctive identity as a tenor player.
The members of the quartet are equally versed and accomplished. An inspired soloist with a knack for creative harmonic textures, Ben Monder (himself a noteworthy bandleader, composer, and sideman with Maria Schneider, Paul Motian and Lee Konitz) shows once more why he is one of the great guitarists of our time. Joe Martin is a first-rate bassist with a facile ear and has worked with the likes of Mark Turner and Chris Potter. Drummer Ted Poor provides a steady groove that eschews unnecessary effects. He shapes the music with the creativity and with a sure-footedness that has earned him the trust of Kurt Rosenwinkel and Aaron Parks.
The compositions on the recording are all originals, except Once Around the Park, a tune written by the recently deceased master drummer and composer Paul Motian. Sabbagh was one of the last saxophonists hired by Motian and played in the drummer s New Trio alongside Ben Monder at the Village Vanguard in New York in 2011. The band s take on Motian s piece is done in tribute to this extraordinary figure.
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