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Keith Oxman

East of the Village

CAPRI RECORDS 74145-2 [60:41]




Bye Bye Baby

East of the Village

Deep in a Dream

Breeze (Blow My Baby Back To Me)

A Vaunt Guard

Walkiní My Baby Back Home

The Shorter Route

Lucky To Be Me

Brothers, Michel and Jean-Marc

(Iíve Got) Beginnersí Luck

Keith Oxman (tenor saxophone); Jeff Jenkins (Hammond B3 organ); Todd Reid (drums)

Recorded April 2016, Mighty Fine Productions


A strong presence on the Denver scene Keith Oxman is also an ever-present for Capri Records; I make this his ninth disc for the label. He works with a tight band Ė Hammond B3 organ player Jeff Jenkins and drummer Todd Reid - and together they motor through ten tracks, only three of which (one apiece) are compositions by band members. This leaves seven strong standards.

Things start with a lesser-known Jule Styne piece, Bye Bye Baby, with Jenkins latching avidly onto the swinging melos and Oxmanís saxophone supremely articulate, blowing hard but lyrically. Doubtless the leader has dusted down Hank Mobleyís classic East of the Village a fair few times but thereís no sign of fatigue here, in a splendid trio approach. Oxman unveils deftly phrased paragraphs, changing colours and bringing dextrous shadings, whilst Jenkinsí keyboard playing brings with it insistent dissonances. Reidís fine drum solo completes this outstanding piece of work.

Thereís no let-up in Deep in a Dream, its ballad lyricism propelled by deftly light Hammond work and rich-toned tenor, with supportive drums. If I find a certain waywardness in the organ solo on Breeze, Oxmanís arrangement gives a new coat of varnish to this standard. I like the Ďtap dancingí drum solo during Walkiní My Baby Back Home and I decidedly liked the fresh-faced version of Leonard Bernsteinís Lucky To Be Me, where Jenkinsí comping is a real standout. The three originals showcase elements of each musicianís musical strengths. Todd Reidís A Vaunt Guard (cheeky word play) is terse and angular, Jenkinsí The Shorter Route incarnates a more straight-ahead Blue Note bop (I assume the allusion is to Wayne) and the leaderís Brothers, Michel and Jean-Marc is a most attractive feature.

Throughout this excellently recorded disc, the standards of musicianship, arrangement and verve are high. Letís hope Oxman will soon hit double figures in his Capri odyssey.

Jonathan Woolf

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