Green Light (SMCD80021), 24-year-old trombonist Alex Heitlinger’s recording debut as a leader, showcases his impressive skills as a jazz composer and instrumentalist in a program of original music arranged for a sextet featuring a three-horn front line (Heitlinger, Greg Gisbert on trumpet & flugelhorn and Peter Sommer on tenor, alto & soprano saxophones) and a rhythm section anchored by pianist Art Lande. Heitlinger’s fluent writing and arranging reveal a facility for creating music in the post-bop jazz idiom that heralds the arrival of a new and exciting voice on the modern jazz scene.
Shapeshifter (SMCD80022), Paul McCandless’ Synergy Music debut and the first recording on which the multi-reed virtuoso and Oregon co-founder plays tenor saxophone (two tracks), reunites him with pianist Art Lande, a frequent collaborator over the past 30 years. This multi-faceted quartet session features instrumentals with a range of morphing melodic, rhythmic and harmonic moods that recall the ancient “shapeshifter” myth. Bassist Peter Barshay and drummer Alan Hall, mainstays of the San Francisco Bay Area jazz scene, round out the ensemble.
SYNcopated EnERGY: Jazz From The Synergy Music Catalog (SMCD 80023) is a budget-priced ($7.98 list) 2-CD compilation showcasing selections from Synergy Music’s latest releases by Art Lande & Paul McCandless and the Alex Heitlinger Sextet as well as titles in the label’s catalog featuring Paul Warburton, Mary Ann Moore, John McNeil & Kenny Berger, Convergence and the Russian Dragon Band, among others. Disc I includes jazz classics and standards (i.e. “Manteca,” “Autumn Leaves,” “Boplicity,” “Waltz For Debbie” and “Night Dreamer”) while Disc II focuses on original works by the established and emerging jazz artists who have released CDs on Synergy Music since 1996.
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