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Album Review

The partnership between veteran saxophonist Dick Oatts and bassist Dave Santoro produced this enjoyable 1996 studio session, accompanied by rising talent Bruce Barth on piano and marking the recording debut of drummer James (Jim) Oblan. Santoro and Oatts each contributed four songs, with Santoro's driving post-bop opener "Pale Blue" (seeming to be distantly inspired by "Giant Steps") and the playful "Osmosis" (featuring Oatts on soprano sax) being the most memorable tracks. Oatts' "Heckle and Jeckle" is a furious piece until it softens to spotlight solos by both Santoro and Oblan, while the saxophonist's mellow "Lasting Tribute" is an inspired ballad. The interaction between these musicians as well as their well-constructed solos make this Italian CD worth tracking down.

Meru, Dick Oatts
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