Scott Burns/John Wojciechowski/Geof Bradfield

Tenor Time

On this warm, bold mainstream project out of Chicago, it is indeed “tenor time,” times three. On this project, created and produced by keyboardist Richard D. Johnson and recorded in a single day in his studio, tasteful saxophonists Scott Burns, John Wojciechowski and Geof Bradfield summon up a winning and rare temporal simpatico of sound: the sound of three strong tenors, individually and in accord.

They work in harmony and counterpoint, and occasionally in taut unison as on the head of “Altar Blues” and the uptempo, bop-ish “Force Majeure.” That tune is a ripe showcase for the saxophonists’ expressive mettle, along with Johnson. Compositional contributions are evenly supplied by the saxophonists and Johnson. Bradfield’s entries are standouts, from the opening clarion-call swing of “Valkyrie” to the Mingus-ish ballad “Some Other Sunday.”

In the album’s diversified mix of feels and musical palettes, the waltz factor represents nicely in the form of Burns’ traditionalist jazz waltz “Monday Waltz,” contrasting the brisker, lighter minor-mode waltz “Jazz Folk Song” penned by Wojciechowski. The tune features a solo by Johnson, who supplies the final two tunes of the outing. His “Curioso” is a mostly march-fueled setting and framework for interactive tenor solos, and respects are paid to the recently belated Chick Corea on Johnson’s “Corea,” which weaves in and out of swing grooves.

In all, Tenor Time showcases Chicago talent deserving wider recognition.

On Sale Now
May 2024
Stefon Harris
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