By Alexa Peters | Published May 2021
For his first live album since 1989, Jim Snidero, a seasoned saxophonist with more than 20 records to his name, brings together the incomparable Orrin Evans on piano, Peter Washington on bass and Joe Farnsworth on drums. On Live At The Deer Head Inn, the quartet’s sensitivity and sensibility transports; listeners may close their eyes and find themselves sitting rapt by the stage.
Recorded at Pennsylvania’s famed Deer Head Inn on Halloween 2020 in front of a small, socially distanced audience, the recording’s immediacy is heightened by the quartet’s interactions with their rapt audience and the way they refer to time-honored standards to contextualize these difficult times.
On “Idle Moments,” the quartet captures the ruminative mood of life in quarantine as Snidero boldly sculpts the well-loved melody. With a sweet, breathy tone and a light, skillful hand, he shapes the tune into a soundtrack for the times, while preserving and reframing the melancholy in Grant Green’s 1963 original.
Likewise, “Ol’ Man River” was chosen by Snidero as a nod to the Black Lives Matter movement. As Snidero’s alto leads the quartet in a tender musical inquiry about racial unrest, the room quiets, the sorrow hits and the record reaches its emotional climax.
Overall, the quartet’s simultaneous awareness of one another, the audience, the jazz tradition and the weight of the present era makes for a spellbinding live recording. Snidero and his band show incredible prowess and tender musicality throughout.
Live At The Deer Head Inn: Live At The Deer Head Inn: Band Intro by Denny Carrig; Now’s The Time; Autumn Leaves; Intro to “Ol’ Man River”; Ol’ Man River; Bye Bye Blackbird; Idle Moments; Who Can I Turn To; My Old Flame; Yesterdays. (53:13)
Personnel: Personnel: Jim Snidero, alto saxophone; Orrin Evans, piano; Peter Washington, bass; Joe Farnsworth, drums.
Ordering Info: Ordering info: jazzdepot.com