Sharel Cassity: Cherokee




Sharel Cassity (alto sax)


Just For You (DW Records 0001)

Buy Track


Sharel Cassity (alto sax),

Michael Dease (trombone), Tom Barber (trumpet), Pete Reardon-Anderson (tenor sax), Adam Birnbaum (piano), Paul Beaudry (bass), Vincent Ector (drums)


Composed by Ray Noble


Recorded: Brooklyn, March 19, 2008


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

I didn't know they offered classes in hot and heavy swing at Juilliard. Shows you how much things have changed since the days when Miles Davis battled with William Vacchiano (who later commented that Miles was merely "a decent student"). Conservatory graduate Sharel Cassity plays with the kind of fire that normally comes from the school of hard knocks where no degrees are given. She certainly burns up this oft-played modern jazz anthem, and shows her mastery of the bop vocabulary. Even more than the licks, her devil-may-care attitude stands out here. And I especially like her tone, which is sweeter than one typically find with alto speed demons. In truth, her conception of the horn is definitely pre-Trane—which you might consider as blasphemy or find refreshing, depending on your allegiances. But if you believe that musical excellence can be achieved without copious borrowings from the Slonimsky Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns, Cassity is an artist you will want to hear.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

Tags: · ·

  • 1 Rich Daigle // May 28, 2009 at 04:31 AM
    Cherokee is smokin and Ted Gioia is a great endorsement!...The Imperfect Art author! I'm posting your site since it wasn't mentioned!