The Turn is ridiculously good as Jerome Sabbagh continues his meteoric rise up the improvisational ladder!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Quick! Name an ensemble that has been together over the last decade with no lineup changes! Tough huh? Jerome Sabbagh's 4tet has turned ten and is as good as any quartet one might hear. Ben Monder on guitar along with Joe Martin on bass and Ted Poor on drums create a delightfully nuanced release of harmonic texture and lyrical balance. Sabbagh is indeed a prolific composer with the only "cover" being the Paul Motian composition "Once Around The Park."
Aside from the blatantly obvious chemistry within this particular collective, The Turn is as much about the sound as it is the composition. Recorded live to analog tape by critically acclaimed engineer James Farber and mastered by legendary Doug Sax (Pink Floyd) there is an open ended spatial warmth. The variety and execution of the tunes walk the harmonic tightrope between the classic Blue Note sound and a more forward thinking approach for the straight ahead community. An intensely lyrical player that engages in improvisation conversations with his music co-conspirators, Sabbagh shines on the exquisite ballad "Long Gone" and then proceeds to full contact hard bop with the smoker "Banshee." The slightly left of center approach to "The Rodeo" simply screams Jim Hall and Sonny Rollins. Ben Monder provides the perfect harmonic counterpoint while the rhythm section of Joe Martin and Ted Poor are as accomplished as any rhythm section working across the country.
The Turn is a vibrant look at composition, lyrical texture and the importance of working as a true collective. The future for modern jazz!
Tracks: The Turn; Long Gone; Banshee; Ascent; The Rodeo; Cult; Once Around The Park; Electric Sun.
Personnel: Jerome Sabbagh: Tenor Saxophone; Ben Monder: Guitar; Joe Martin: Bass; Ted Poor: Drums.