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Haslanger, Elias: LIVE at the Gallery

Born in Austin, Texas, tenor saxophonist Elias Haslanger has been a musician for almost three decades. He has recorded and performed with The Four Tops, The Temptations and Ellis Marsalis, among many others. His latest album as a bandleader is called LIVE at the Gallery, recorded at the Continental Club Gallery in Austin. Elias and his band perform at the Gallery every Monday, which has become known as "Church on Monday", which is incidentally the title of his last album. His latest was recorded over three nights and the quintet does not disappoint. Besides Haslanger , these fine players include Dr. James Polk (B3 organ), Jake Langley (guitar), Scott Laningham (drums) and Daniel Durham (bass).

This is the kind of jazz meant to be heard live. It has that sultry jazz club sound I love and all five musicians really bring it with this performance. The rhythm section is the perfect backbone upon which the rest of the players offer up some excellent solos. Sax, B3 and guitar are all scintillatingly played and the best part is the solos flow naturally within the song, never sounding forced or overthought.

Every track is a winner but none more so than the first two. "One For Daddy O" begins the disc in a 'bebop smoke filled room' kind of way. The bass and drums provide a steady rhythm while Haslanger's saxophone is a marvel to behold. "Watermelon Man", the funky jazz classic penned by Herbie Hancock, is a force to be reckoned with as these musicians really strut their stuff offering one solo after another. The rest of the tunes are in the same vein and you will be hard pressed to keep still as the infectious grooves keep on coming.

LIVE at the Gallery is one of the best jazz albums I have heard this year and I highly recommend it for anyone remotely interested in the genre.

Track Listing:
1. One For Daddy O
2. Watermelon Man
3. I Thought About You
4. Goin' Down
5. Song For My Father
6. Misty
7. Adam's Apple
8. In A Sentimental Mood

Added: July 24th 2014
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1304
Language: english

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