Scott Burns

Passages

origin 82465



MUSIC REVIEW BY Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

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It's hardly news that Chicago has a deep jazz community, and though a variety of specific scenes exist (free jazz, neo-trad, etc), players here tend to be distinguished by their versatility. But that often means that if a musician doesn't wear a particular hat, he or she can get overlooked. Case in point: tenor saxophonist Scott Burns. One of the most reliable horn players in town, Burns has been mentioned in these pages as a member of the organ combo led by expat guitarist Jeff Parker, but he's also led his own nimble, hard-swinging postbop quartet for years. Unfortunately, the group hasn't released any music since its sturdy 2006 debut, Passages (Origin). That no-fuss session with pianist Ron Perrillo, bassist Dennis Carroll, and drummer George Fludas features all original material and leaves no doubt that the leader has absorbed lessons from storied saxophonists of the past five or six decades. On "Downhill Stroll" Burns evokes the bluesy punch of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, while on "Storm Rising" the band summons the spirit of mid-60s Coltrane. He's not an envelope pusher, but Burns's writing and sense of harmony separate him from the past. The rapport and interplay he has with the members of the band on Passages delivers the real spark—because hearing musicians like this sizzle is reward enough.








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