Tenor saxophone veteran Hadley Caliman has been a fixture on the Seattle jazz scene since moving to the Emerald City from California where he played with everyone from his mentor, Dexter Gordon, to high school classmate, Art Farmer, to recordings with Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard and Santana. Now in his 70's, Caliman is a regular at Seattle's Second Avenue jazz club, Tula's and a long-standing member of the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, but this is his first recording as a leader in 31 years.
Backed by Joe Locke's fluid, expressionistic vibes, Thomas Marriott's tart trumpet, Phil Sparks' heartbeat bass, and drummer Joe LaBarbera's orchestral colours, Caliman launches into a series of warm, voice-like solos. He's got a throwback tenor sound, and the band cooks on blues-inspired numbers like Marriott's Back For More
and Joe Henderson's If
. Caliman's haunting original, Linda,
is a beautifully moving melody framed by his spare, thoughtful improvisation. If you've never caught Caliman down in Seattle, this is a great introduction.