The Stryker/Slagle Band: Hopewell's Last


Hopewell's Last


The Stryker/Slagle Band


The Scene (Zoho ZM20081)

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Dave Stryker (guitar), Steve Slagle (alto & soprano saxes, flute), Joe Lovano (tenor sax),

Jay Anderson (bass), Victor Lewis (drums)


Composed by Steve Slagle


Recorded: New Platz, NY, April 15, 2008


Rating: 89/100 (learn more)

On this Steve Slagle-penned ballad, the masterful sax duo of Lovano on tenor and Slagle on soprano opens this lazy, melancholy song dedicated to Slagle's late brother Stuart. The Stryker/Slagle Band has been honing their tightly meshed "pianoless" sound for some time now, and it shows in their flawless execution. After Slagle's sauntering, soulful solo, Dave Stryker weaves his guitar around the wistful melody with his skillful use of octave playing. The addition of powerhouse Joe Lovano only adds another diverse and complementary element to their signature sound. Lovano's mellifluous sax flows like water cascading over the slippery stones of a serene stream. The interaction between the two saxes is especially compatible in the soprano/tenor format. This group merits closer attention, and Lovano adds just another dynamic element to this stalwart band. Fine work.

Reviewer: Ralph A. Miriello


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