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Rich Halley

Rich Halley, tenor sax & percz   Troy Grugett, Alto/Baritone sax & percz  Michael Matkovich, trombone   Rob Blakeslee, Trumpet/Cornet 
Phil Sparks, bass  William Thomas, Drums

There is something about live recordings that "makes the music better".  This CD from a live gig in San Francisco's (or is it Berkeley?) "Beanbenders" proves that to be true beyond the shadow of a doubt.  As you can see from the player listing, this came near being a "big band" improv!  It's a SUPER recording, which certainly enhances the experience, but it's the comfort level (& talent) of the players that makes it come across as if they were right there in your living room!  The horns are striking for their compatibility,  if nothing else... they stay right TOGETHER, sort of like an intelligent conversation.  You who pursue improvised music(s) as fanatically as I do know that (especially for horn-based ensembles), this level of communication often doesn't come through.  Well, it does HERE!  I'd say this is the best recorded/sounding large group ensemble I've heard in 2000.  Some of the pieces may be a little long for the "average" listener, but then (in this improv crowd) who is "average", anyway?  The shortest piece 8:36, the longest just over 16 minutes.  If you love high energy jazz improv in a big-band way, you'll agree (like, totally, people) with me when I declare this HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  Rotcod Zzaj

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