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Traveler

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Album Review

In his reviews of Andy Snitzer's first two albums, Ties That Bind (1994) and In the Eye of the Storm (1996), All Music Guide's Jonathan Widran made a point of citing the similarity of the young saxophonist's playing to that of David Sanborn. In 2011, 15 years later, Widran has written the liner notes for Snitzer's seventh album, Traveler, which might indicate the critic has come around or that the artist has developed over time. The latter proves to be the case. Certainly, no one would think of Sanborn while listening to Traveler, an engaging if unchallenging contemporary jazz effort. There's none of Sanborn's furious honking here. Instead, Snitzer, who is also responsible for synthesizer, electric piano, and rhythm programming, sets up percolating backing tracks and then solos over them in a smooth fashion. The album title and song titles like "Marseille," "Bohemia," and "Lausanne" might suggest a trip around the world (with "Earth from Above" coming in from the space shuttle), but it doesn't sound like Snitzer ever left the luxury hotels if he did jaunt around in search of inspiration. He is challenged by fellow musicians, notably a muted Chris Botti on "Mystique," and his playing always displays more ideas that the usual contemporary jazz noodling. But Traveler doesn't really sound like it taxed him too much to construct; at least when he was channeling Sanborn he was more assertive.

Biography

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s

Contemporary jazz saxophonist/composer Andy Snitzer was born and raised in Philadelphia; although his first instrument was the clarinet, he turned to the sax at age 15, going on to study music at the University of Miami. There he was discovered by Bob James, touring behind the keyboardist and appearing on a series of albums beginning with 1987's Obsession; Snitzer concurrently earned his MBA at New York University, landing a position at the J.P. Morgan Investment firm while also emerging as a sought-after...
Full bio
Traveler, Andy Snitzer
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  • $10.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Apr 19, 2011

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