Mark Zaleski: Care Free
Mark Zaleski (alto & soprano saxes)
The Mark Zaleski Band
Mark Zaleski (alto & soprano saxes),
Jon Bean (tenor sax), Alex Brown (piano), Will Graefe (guitar), Will Slater (bass), Tyson Stubelek (drums).
Composed by Mark Zaleski.
Recorded: Acton, MA, October 4, 2007
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
Music writers are used to artist queries. "Hi, I'm John Q. Polytonal, and I was wondering if you'd be interested in reviewing my new CD …." Sure, I get them all the time. But it's weird when the artist's name seems so, uhm … familiar. The truth of the matter is that me and Mark Zaleski are not related, though I must admit I had my fingers crossed as to the quality of his music. I mean, the opportunity to have fun with the name would have vaporized if the music leaned toward the Kenny G end of things. Let's face it, all of those "poodle hairdo" and golf jokes have gotten stale.
The happy news is that Mark Zaleski and his band have a lot interesting things to say. "Care Free" flies out of the gate with the rhythm section setting up a fast-moving vamp over which the saxes wind their theme. It reminds my ears of Coltrane, but with a more modern flair, especially when the floating chords of guitarist Will Graefe are mixed in. After pianist Alex Brown takes a wide-ranging solo, Zaleski lays down the burn with a solo that traffics in heat, passion and angularity. I was almost disappointed when the head reappeared, mostly because Zaleski seemed to be having so much fun. But, hey, there's always the repeat button!
Reviewer: Mark Saleski
Tags: 2000s jazz