Gabe Baltazar: The Calm
Gabe Baltazar (alto sax)
Birdology (Fresh Sound FRS 5001)
Gabe Baltazar (alto sax),
Frank Strazzeri (piano), Andy Simpkins (bass), Nick Martinis (drums).
Composed by Gabe Baltazar.
Recorded: Woodland Hills, CA, October 24-25, 1992
Rating: 86/100 (learn more)
This excellent alto sax stylist (who also plays all other saxes, clarinets and flutes) from Hawaii is best known for his 1960-'65 stint with Stan Kenton's orchestra, where he replaced Lennie Niehaus as first alto. Here supported by a great rhythm section, Baltazar shows that he continuously evolved since then, developing a personal sound and phrasing based on the post-Bird tradition. This goes along with a good deal of feeling. Far from the hordes of mere technicians of the horn, Baltazar always uses his huge know-how to convey emotion, particularly on a lush ballad such as this.
Reviewer: Thierry Quénum