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Album Review

Shawn Maxwell's debut recording is an ambitious affair, with no fewer than ten originals by the alto saxophonist, who also doubles on tenor sax, flute and clarinet. Joined by pianist Jakub Rojek, bassist Mike Daly and drummer Glen Schneider, Maxwell's music isn't easily categorized though its challenging themes and the crisp execution of them by his band make it an ear-opening experience. He's on alto sax for his quirky opener "Dangerous Curve" and the more straight-ahead "Inside Back," though the latter work has its share of twists. Switching to clarinet, the rambunctious, playful nature of "Clayton's Carnival" suggests a blend of Joel Forrestor and Don Byron. Maxwell utilizes flute for his intense "Glamasue," a haunting work played at a brisk tempo. His one feature on tenor sax is the chugging but catchy "Lunch-Box," which showcases Rojek to good effect as well. Trombonist Johanna Mahmud is added on two tracks, the angular and humorous "Iynes Crayons" and the unpredictable "No One Bossa." Shawn Maxwell's Originals stands apart from typical debuts by independent artists because of his surprising gifts as a composer and his group's ability to build upon his creations.

Customer Reviews

The best!

I used to take private lessons with this guy. he's the best sax player I know!

Originals, Shawn Maxwell
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