Fans of hard-hitting, finely-crafted post-Bop will want to check into "Parallel Lives," the first release from tenor sax player Rob Lockart.
With support from an A-list cast of characters this veteran of big bands, ranging from Woody Herman to Doc Severinsen and Tom Harrell to Chris Walden, shows that he's equally at home generating heat in a quartet setting.
The collection of eight songs, six of them original, are not simply an excuse to showcase Lockart's ample technique: They are well-wrought and, in the case of the two standards, cleverly interpreted. "All Or Nothing At All," for instance, is surprisingly smoky and seductive, while "The Last of The Red Note Riders" uses a Latin foundation with multiple moving harmonic
parts, so that the soloists are challenged and the listener rewarded.
The strongest statements are made on the title tune and "Waiting For Truth," the latter featuring a nearly profound guitar solo from Larry Koonse, and the former showcasing Lockart's Trane chops and rhythmic dexterity. It must be noted, however, that it is most definitely a soprano and not any other type of sax being played on "Truth," a fact not acknowledged in the CD liner notes.
Besides the Coltrane influence I also detected shades of Bob Mintzer and the late Michael Brecker in Lockart's solo style. It will be interesting to see if he successfully transcends those personalities completely and finds a route to a voice that is uniquely his. Until then, with company like Bill Cunliffe on piano, Jeff DiAngelo on bass and especially Joe La Barbera on traps?not to mention guests such as Koonse and fellow tenorist Bob Sheppard?he's provided us a durable piece of work that begs more than just an initial listen.