James Zollar Debuts at #17 on the CMJ National Jazz Radio Chart


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After a twelve year recording hiatus as a leader, Zollar re-emerges with Zollar Systems, a refreshingly sharp hard bop recital, bristling with energy and sonic acuteness. Tired of that old Blue Note '50s-'60s blowing session model? Think again. Zollar breathes new life into the old form, tightening it up and repackaging it for the 21st Century. This is apparent, right out of the chute with Daniel Jackson's “Chicago Preferred," in classic hard bop form: complex, rhythmically assertive head followed by solos. Zollar is more Kenny Dorham than Lee Morgan and it still doesn't reveal the tart, informed tone of the leader.

Zollar Debut's on the CMJ National Jazz Radio Chart issue #1142

17 - James Zollar, Zollar Systems (JZAZ)

18 - Chris Joss, Monomaniacs (ESL Music)

19 - David Leonhardt, Bach to the Blues (Big Bang)

20 - Mike LeDonne, The Groover (Savant)<

James Zollar is a musical treasure hidden in plain sight. He has played and recorded as a sideman for a variety of artists, including Cecil McBee, Tom Harrell, Weldon Irving and Sam Rivers, as a member of Wynton Marsalis' brass section in the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, The {Duke Ellington}} Orchestra and several of Don Byron's bands. While he leads his own mainstream-oriented quintet, Zollar has recorded only one collection, the very fine Soaring With Bird(Naxos Jazz, 1998).

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