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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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Blue Innuendo

LABEL L1-2003-2



1. Urban Dilemma
2. 22 Doors
3. 12-Step Blues
4. Parallel Present
5. Genealogy   
6. Stuck
7. The Phantom (for Joe Henderson)
8. Two-Tone Tune
9. Blue Innuendo (for Joey D)
Dave Anderson (tenor & soprano saxes): Tom Guarna (guitar): Pat Bianchi (organ): Matt Wilson (drums)

The Dave Anderson quartet unveils a ten-track, hour-long set with this release. The leader sports tenor and soprano saxes, and writes all but one of the tunes, and is supported by the organ, guitar and drums of Pat Bianchi, Tom Guarna and Matt Wilson. The ethos of bop-cum-swing angularity can be heard in Urban Dilemma where fleet organ, neatly nuanced guitar, and urgent drums speed the leader's soprano on its way. 22 Doors is a funky groove though its attractions begin to pall through lack of internal variety, which is something that can't be levelled at 12-Step Blues which, despite its title, mines a friskier, up-tempo groove ahead of the soulful blandishments of Parallel Present with its Latino hues and finely calibrated exchanges.

We reach the security of a ballad by the sixth track, Stuck, an unpromising title for a soprano venture though rather more characterful is the tribute to Joe Henderson called The Phantom where Bianchi is especially prominent and plays with distinction. Drums set the pace on Two-Tone Tune with strong guitar chording and some fluent tenor though by now I was strongly missing what I often miss in contemporary albums, especially quartet albums - namely, standards.

The dedication of the title track to 'Joey D' - that's to say Joey DeFrancesco - is appropriate as this is a jaunty swinger, more straight ahead than the majority of the companion tracks, with a laid back tenor solo. I have to admit I strongly prefer Anderson on the tenor.

This is a good souvenir of Anderson's working band. It could do with more compositional light and shade but as noted this isn't a stricture I'd level at Anderson alone.

Jonathan Woolf

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