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Washington, D.C.-based saxophonist Peter Fraize displays extraordinary command on latest album

Published: 2011-09-09
Peter Fraize In the ecosystem, organic matter is what dead plants and animals leave behind to help sustain life on the planet. Interpreted as art, such as with saxophonist Peter Fraize's new record Organic Matter, it can be viewed as a legacy. View Organic Matter as Fraize's gift to the jazz world, a timeless work that will assist in ensuring the genre's longevity.

For the Washington, D.C.-based Fraize, Organic Matter is merely the latest of his numerous accomplishments in jazz. His career extends back to the early '80s with the band Moment's Notice, which he formed at the age of 16. Nearly 30 years later, Fraize is still a fixture of the local jazz scene. In addition to his live performances and studio albums, Fraize has been teaching jazz at George Washington University since 1994.

Given his decades of experience and wealth of musical knowledge, that Organic Matter should sound like a defining statement is no shock. Fraize is keenly aware of the saxophone's possibilities and limitations; he displays extraordinary command of the instrument in cut after cut. On “Rawer Than Dinner," Fraize's searing sax can produce rug burns. However, Fraize is a team player as well. On “Rhythm Schtick," Fraize and his band—Hammond organ player Greg Hatza, guitarist Mike Pavone, and drummer Mark Morrison—groove with breathless determination.

Subsequent spins of Organic Matter further reveal its layers of eclectic flavors and sonic textures. It's the kind of album that simply improves the more times that it is heard.


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