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Jim Snidero – Live at the Deer Head Inn (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/88,2kHz]

Jim Snidero – Live at the Deer Head Inn (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 55:27 minutes | 1,09 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Savant

As with many professions, it was a difficult thing to be a jazz musician during the pandemic year of 2020, but alto saxophonist Jim Snidero found himself in a unique situation: he was able to assemble a quartet for a feasible, safe, limited-audience gig at Pennsylvania’s famed Deer Head Inn.

Undeterred by the restrictions of the 2020 pandemic, veteran alto saxophonist Jim Snidero staged an unforgettable socially distanced concert. Recorded at Pennsylvania’s historic Poconos venue, Live at the Deer Head Inn finds Snidero leading his quartet through a vibrant, hard-swinging performance. Joining him are longtime associates pianist Orrin Evans, bassist Peter Washington, and drummer Joe Farnsworth. In the past, Snidero has explored funky organ jazz, edgy post-bop à la Miles Davis’ late-’60s quintet, and more conceptual sounds, as on his 2020 South Korean-inspired Project K with Dave Douglas. Here, the saxophonist and his bandmates dive headlong into a no-nonsense mix of jazz standards that spotlight their adept harmonic skills and warm group interplay. They kick things off with a particularly adventurous take on the Charlie Parker bop blues “Now’s the Time,” quickly twisting Parker’s bouncy melody into ever more tangled harmonic loops. It’s a vibe particularly well-suited to pianist Evans, a member of the boundary-pushing Bad Plus trio, who frames Snidero with woody, ear-catching chords throughout. Equally compelling is their dusky rendition of “Autumn Leaves,” in which Snidero sneaks through Evans’ chordal shadows, accenting the melody with bluesy asides before launching into a kinetic extended solo. We also get a deeply ruminative and pastoral reading of “Ol’ Man River” that Snidero introduces with a heartfelt dedication to the Black Lives Matter movement. Elsewhere, he evokes the swaggering melodicism of his alto forebear Phil Woods on a jaunty midtempo version of “Who Can I Turn To” and punctuates a lushly romantic “My Old Flame” with Art Pepper-esque flourishes. Live at the Deer Head Inn is a vibrant reminder of how thrilling and creatively engaging live jazz often is. – Matt Collar


1. Band Intro by Denny Carrig (Live) (0:25)
2. Now’s the Time (Live) (5:59)
3. Autumn Leaves (Live) (6:53)
4. Intro to “Ol’ Man River” (Live) (0:33)
5. Ol’ Man River (Live) (6:57)
6. Bye Bye Blackbird (Live) (7:03)
7. Idle Moments (Live) (6:49)
8. Who Can I Turn To (Live) (7:00)
9. My Old Flame (Live) (8:11)
10. Yesterdays (Live) (5:44)


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