One of my fave jazz trios is Seattle's New Stories, and one of my fave sax players is Don Lanphere, who lives in Kirkland, Wash., Seattle's over-the-bridge neighbor.
When these four get together to play, they are ready to SAY SOMETHING; the new Origin CD Home at Last is another excellent choice for any true jazz lover of the bebop era to embrace and add to his or her record collection.
Home at Last simply smolders and soothes all at the same time, with an undeniable groove that you won't get enough of. "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" opens with a bang; swinging mightily. The ever-crackerjack rhythm section with Doug Miller on bass and John Bishop on drums carefully follow piano man Marc Seales' mischievous, yet wistful keyboard stylings, letting go as everyone gets to stretch. Then the magical horn of Don Lanphere comes in, and you're done for.
Despite his deep Christian convictions, this cat's soul has seen hell and his music breathes both fire and ice. Don's longtime relationship with his lovely wife, Midge, is known throughout, yet I'm sure he's felt great sadness and loneliness somewhere down his long, fascinating journey. His mournful tone on the ballads chosen for this CD demonstrates such.
A true master of the fine art of playing the sax, we're all trying to get "home at last" -Don's music is already there, and possessing this little gem just makes the whole process a damn lot more enjoyable.