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Tassel, Andrew Van: It's Where You Are

New York based saxophonist Andrew Van Tassel is emerging as a go to sax man in New York City. His new album It's Where You Are confirms what many musicians already know, this guy is the real deal. Of course, as with any ensemble, the rest of the players are just as important and Tassel has surrounded himself with some of the finest players the New York City jazz scene has to offer. Besides Tassel (alto and soprano saxophones) we have Julian Shore (piano and Rhodes), Edward Perez (bass) and Colin Stranahan (drums). Guests include Ben Eunson (guitar) and Michael Thomas (clarinet and bass clarinet).

This quartet play melodic contemporary jazz and have outstanding chops but that doesn't take away from the fact these musicians play as an exceptional unit. Yes there are solos but they all mesh so well within the song with every instrument getting the attention it deserves. Nothing feels out of place or overwrought as the entire band is up to the challenge of making interesting and highly listenable jazz music. The beginning track "High Holborn" has an excellent groove with complex drum patterns, subtle stop/starts and rousing sax and guitar solos. "Goodnight Moon" is a gentler affair with soft piano offering a hint of dreaminess and the sax solo adding to the song's rich melody. "On the Up" picks up the tempo immediately and has the band's chops on full display with bass, sax and guitar solos leading the way. The quartet slows down once again on the exquisitely beautiful "Hold Still" and the title track with both tunes demonstrating a contemplative feel and calming demeanor. The bass solo in "Cloud 9" is another high point. The playing throughout is equally absorbing with no discernible weak spots I can hear.

There you have it. It's Where You Are should certify Tassel as a major player in contemporary/traditional jazz.

A highly recommended release from Tone Rogue Records.

Track Listing:
1. High Holborn
2. Goodnight Moon
3. On the Up
4. Hold Still
5. It's Where You Are
6. Cloud 9
7. The Alcotts
8. Quiet Now
9. Death of a Spatula
10. Tunnel Vision (Bonus Track)

Added: January 29th 2017
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1246
Language: english

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