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Sunset Harbor

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Album Review

The need for pretty album titles can sometimes be a detriment to releases whose music is way too deep, intricate, and explosive for the words to convey.

Saxman Ed Calle's Concord Vista debut has all the intimate sizzle of Gato Barbieri, all the playful percussive joy of Arturo Sandoval (who guests), all the flamenco intimacy of Ottmar Liebert, and all the retro soul of Calle's inspirational heroes Earth, Wind & Fire. Yet the title Sunset Harbor conveys only the easygoing side of the veteran sideman's personality, wonderfully expressed on the tender, sweet, and catchy "Rachel's Song" and "Marianne." The buoyant attitude of the disc is much better conveyed by "Strollin'," which finds Calle revving up for a self-created horn section (by doubling and then tripling his tenor) over an irrepressible Latin groove. "Nightfall" is an appropriate moniker for a Gato-like salsa slow dance with retro soul undercurrents like Jim Gasior's synth-generated Rhodes sound. Calle goes the full hip-hop distance on "Suds," wrapping his tenor and EWI around the same type of keyboard accents and Dan Warner's wah-wah guitar. "San Sebastian" is the centerpiece, however, the musical equivalent of a lazy-paced cantina (flamenco guitar provided by Sandoval's longtime associate Rene Toledo) catching fire with Calle's galloping sax melody and Sandoval's flaming trumpet acting as chief pyromaniacs. Calle's tributes to Earth, Wind & Fire and Chicago ("Colour My World") allow him to play before horn sections but have nothing on the dazzling original material he presents.


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Born in Caracas of Spanish parents, Miami-based saxophonist Ed Calle owes his musical career to his father's love of music. When Calle and his family moved to America in 1966, his father suggested that Calle take some music classes. Calle picked tenor saxophone and took to it quickly, soon spending nearly all his free time practicing. As a student at the University of Miami, Calle decided that music was his calling, and received a master's degree in jazz performance. Even before he left school,...
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Sunset Harbor, Ed Calle
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