(Jeff Darrohn, soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophone; Dave Posmontier, piano; Craig Thomas, bass; Tony Vigilante, drums; Bob Apgar, baritone saxophone)
Through the magic of overdubbing, saxophonist Jeff Darrohn has been able to become four to six different saxophone players at any one time. On T-Bird ’60, he arranges his overdubs to sound like both an old fashioned big band and swinging bebop sextet. By composing a composite sax score for his trio, Darrohn was able to overdub all his parts over a capable rhythm section.
The album’s second track, Royal Festival Blue, showcases the gorgeous harmonizing Darrohn is able to achieve, with his soprano sax parts sounding like clarinets. Violet Blue is a smooth, slow ballad that sounds like a doo-wop song; the baritone sax notes filling in for a baritone human voice. Henry has a descending melodic line that is reminiscent of a decades old big band standard.
Something Unknown, the album’s sixth track, borrows its melodic structure from Ellington’s “Take the ‘A’ Train,” but substitutes that track’s urban groove for a cool, West Coast swing sound. Waltz for Lawnmowers sounds like nothing more than a pleasant Saturday morning in spring, with the soprano sax lines once again doubling as clarinets.
What Darrohn has done on T-Bird ’60 is quite remarkable. Though he is just one saxophonist, he has utilized recording technology to create the kind of complex and harmonious interplay (with himself!) usually reserved for horn blowers who’ve been playing together for years. [Something like Bill Evans’ “Conversations With Myself” series, right?…Ed.]
Track List: The Chase, Royal Festival Blue, Velvet Blue, Henry, Take Off, Something Unknown, Waltz for Two Lawnmowers, Bopsanova, London Far Eastern Groove, T Bird ’60
– Jeff Krow