Saturday, December 2, 2023

Jim Snidero: Far Far Away

Alto saxman Jim Snidero continues his ascension of the jazz ladder with his most recent session for Savant Records. In a quintet setting he is joined by seasoned colleagues Kurt Rosenwinkel, guitar; Orrin Evans, piano; Peter Washington, bass; and Joe Farnsworth, drums. This meeting finds the group examining seven original compositions by Snidero, and one standard. The album’s title tune, “Far Far Away”, suggests something perhaps exotic or somehow other worldly. Not at all! The opener is a rip snortin’, in your face high altitude adventure. Things cool off considerably with “Infinity”, well named because of its “spacey” outdoor feeling. The standard, an alto and guitar duo, is “It Might As Well Be Spring”, done very impressively with no unneeded garnishes. The album continues with Snidero’s compositions, some accessible and creative, and others “out there” for my bop and swing ears. There’s no doubt however, that Jim Snidero is a monster alto player. Rosenwinkel’s guitar on the other hand is so electrified that it often sounds like an electric violin. Evans gets in some sparkling highlights here, such as on “Search For Peace”, Snidero’s statement of beauty and tenderness. For me, this is a mixed bag affair but then that’s truly in the ear of the beholder.

Savant; 2023; appx. 53 min.

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