...an excellent group of players jamming, meshing together fluidly, and the energy is consistently high.
A fiery and dedicated improvisor and composer, saxophonist Idit Shner's latest quartet recording highlights her rich and ongoing relationship with pianist Josh Hanlon and drummer Stockton Helbing, which dates back to the early 2000's when Idit was working on her Doctorate at the University of North Texas. Along with bassist James Driscoll, the quartet tackles a program of Idit's compositions, all based in the jazz tradition but with influences ranging from traditional melodies and rhythms from Zimbabwe, to classical Arabic music, to the Latin-tinged grooves of McCoy Tyner from his early '70s recordings. For the album's lone standard, Billy Strayhorn's "Passion Flower," Shner declares her debt to one of jazz's definitive alto stylists with this haunting Ellington band staple, one of Duke's many feature numbers for Johnny Hodges.
1. Revision 5:55
2. Passion Flower 3:03
3. Arrival 3:57
4. First Waltz 3:17
5. Hymn and Variations 3:20
6. Like Satie 3:39
7. Departure 4:39
8. Angst as Usual 3:02
9. Not Friends 4:22
All music by Idit Shner except (2) by Billy Strayhorn
Idit Shner - alto and soprano saxophone
Josh Hanlon - piano & Hammond B3
James Driscoll - bass
Stockton Helbing - drums
Produced by Idit Shner
Recorded & mixed by Kent Stump
at Crystal Clear Sound, Dallas, TX
May 15-16, 2017
Mastered by James Driscoll
Art by Lillian Almeida
Cover design & layout by John Bishop
Midwest Record (Chris Spector)
A crew of improv cats that have known each other since burning the midnight oil at North Texas as students, this is a fully realized date of sharp, angular sax led playing that's short on skronk and long on soul. For ears that like it firmly left leaning, this date has all the thrills and spills a forward thinker would demand in their listening. S ...
Downbeat (Shannon J. Effinger)
**** 9 Short Stories marks the latest release from Idit Shner on the OA2 label. The saxophonist and composer is currently an associate professor of saxophone and jazz studies at the University of Oregon. In spite of the rich precedent for women players and composers in jazz, there remains a lack of opportunities for women in this music. Happily ...
KUCI - Irvine, CA (Hobart Taylor)
Saxophonist/composer Shner working in a quartet format with pianist Josh Hanlon, bassist James Driscoll, and Stockton Helbing on drums has a deft and quasi classical touch, e.g., "Like Satie". Her tunes are carefully crafted and subtly insinuating. Utilizing a tightly controlled high pitched vibrato on the one cover tune, the Billy Strayhorn miracl ...