Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Anthony Ortega - Afternoon in Paris (HatHut, 2007) ****
Saxophonist Anthony Ortega is accompanied by bass-player Kash Killion on some tracks recorded in the studio, the rest is Ortega just by himself, recorded live in Paris. He is a great sax-player, technically skilled, but especially strong in getting all emotions across in all their various shapes and forms, sensitive and elegant, with a tone quite his own. Some of the pieces are well-known standards : "I'll Remember April" (on flute), "Blue Monk", "Ornithology". I like his take on "Blue Monk" especially, because he tears it apart in his solo version without moving too far from the theme either, but with joy and respect. And that's basically his approach for most of the tracks : lots of pleasure in playing the music, giving his own reading, and all that with great lyricism and emotional power.