Doug Webb may well be the best unknown saxophonist in America.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Doug Webb has released three critically acclaimed recordings on the Posi-Tone label. So who is Doug Webb? Having played and recorded with such luminaries as Stanley Clarke, Rod Stewart, and Pancho Sanchez there is no questioning Webb's versatility. Small screen work for Webb includes such smash television shows as Family Guy and Law And Order, toss in solos from big screen soundtracks that include Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, and Grand Torino and you are looking at perhaps the premier first call tenor player on the left coast. It would be all too easy to lump Doug Webb in the category of that all too typical session player that bangs out some righteous solos and then packs his horn up only to move on to the next gig.
Another Scene is Webb's finest solo work to date with a formidable 4tet that hits all their marks and then some! Well traveled bassist Dwayne Burno works well within a rhythm section including the largely unheralded Peter Zak on piano and perhaps one of the finest half dozen drummers on the planet in Rudy Royston. Everyone needs a change of scene on occasion and with Another Scene recorded in the improvisational mecca we know as New York, Doug Webb embraces a hard swing and intense lyrical sense of direction that his musical co-conspirators work to a new level of hard bop. A release with six of the twelve tunes as originals puts Webb's compositional prowess front and center. The opening "Mr. Milo" and "Rhythm With Rudy" coupled with the striking Jobim cover of "Double Rainbow" reinforce colors, textures and a deft hand at shading that push Another Scene into the rarefied air of hard bop for the next generation.
Posi-Tone clearly has a stable of perhaps the finest saxophonists working today and Webb is certainly deep in the mix. This is jazz that is real, raw, and at times on a delightful ragged edge. While others are languishing in odd meter to make a point and attempting to work from that pretentious speed is king mentality, Doug Webb keeps it real.
A stellar effort!
Tracks: Mr. Milo; One For Art; Smatter; Southern Scene; Another Step; Double Rainbow; Eulogy; Rhythm With Rudy; What Is There To Say; Verdi Variations; Bird Song; Only Trust Your Heart.
Personnel: Doug Webb: Tenor Saxophone; Peter Zak: Piano; Dwayne Burno: Bass; Rudy Royston: Drums.