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Critic's Choice: New CD's

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  • March. 13, 2006
    Critic's Choice: New CD's

    By Nate Chinen
    The New York Times

    Two years ago, SFJAZZ, the institution behind the San Francisco Jazz Festival, started an eight-piece house band called the SFJAZZ Collective. It was a West Coast answer to the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, with the tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman filling the Wynton Marsalis role. Yet the upstart ensemble set its own agenda, including original contributions as well as repertory work. Its inaugural season surveyed the music of Ornette Coleman, hardly the obvious starting point for a mainstream organization. Last year Mr. Redman and his colleagues addressed another 1960's icon, John Coltrane, and the results, recorded on tour, make up this album. Strikingly, "SFJAZZ Collective 2" doesn't suggest either a history lesson or an all-star confab. It's just a vivid and engaging acoustic jazz outing, quite possibly one of the best we'll hear this year. Mr. Redman is in fine form throughout, and he's not the only one. There's as much to be said for Nicholas Payton's outstanding trumpet work on Coltrane's "Moment's Notice" and his own "Scrambled Eggs"; Bobby Hutcherson's vibraphone filigree on "Naima"; the rhythmic daring of the alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón. The rare accomplishment of the SFJAZZ Collective is that it can contain such fierce talent without succumbing to it. The SFJAZZ Collective will perform at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on March 25 and at Zankel Hall from March 28 to 30.

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on March 13, 2006

By Nate Chinen
The New York Times

Two years ago, SFJAZZ, the institution behind the San Francisco Jazz Festival, started an eight-piece house band called the SFJAZZ Collective. It was a West Coast answer to the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, with the tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman filling the Wynton Marsalis role. Yet the upstart ensemble set its own agenda, including original contributions as well as repertory work. Its inaugural season surveyed the music of Ornette Coleman, hardly the obvious starting point for a mainstream organization. Last year Mr. Redman and his colleagues addressed another 1960's icon, John Coltrane, and the results, recorded on tour, make up this album. Strikingly, "SFJAZZ Collective 2" doesn't suggest either a history lesson or an all-star confab. It's just a vivid and engaging acoustic jazz outing, quite possibly one of the best we'll hear this year. Mr. Redman is in fine form throughout, and he's not the only one. There's as much to be said for Nicholas Payton's outstanding trumpet work on Coltrane's "Moment's Notice" and his own "Scrambled Eggs"; Bobby Hutcherson's vibraphone filigree on "Naima"; the rhythmic daring of the alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón. The rare accomplishment of the SFJAZZ Collective is that it can contain such fierce talent without succumbing to it. The SFJAZZ Collective will perform at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on March 25 and at Zankel Hall from March 28 to 30.

Music Enitity Reference: 
SFJAZZ Collective
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