Sam Dillon – Out In The Open – CellarLive

by | Oct 18, 2018 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Sam Dillon – Out In The Open – CellarLive CL012718 62:12 ***1/2:

( Sam Dillon – tenor saxophone; Peter Zak – piano; Yoshi Waki – acoustic bass; Billy Drummond – drums)

Given the economics of recording industry today and especially in jazz, sometimes all the talent in the world will not generate a recording contract. However if you have a supporter like Cory Weeds, owner of CellarLive records, who will use crowd funding to get the money for the recording, success is then up to you to deliver the goods. Tenor saxophonist Sam Dillon has now taken the first big step with his debut release Out In The Open.

Backed by a rhythm section anchored by drummer Billy Drummond, who also happens to be Dillon’s teacher and mentor, all the elements are in place for a favourable outcome, and for the most part Dillon does not disappoint. He starts out with “I Hear A Rhapsody” which is taken at a swinging pace and full energy. Throughout the number Dillon shows he has a command of his horn and his exploration of the number is full of curiosity. Drummer Billy Drummond keeps Dillon on track with his clear articulation.

Portrait Sam Dillon

Sam Dillon

Sam Dillon contributed to two compositions to the outing starting with the title track “Out In The Open” and “New Blues”. On the former, Dillon starts out with some interesting tenor meanderings, supported by Drummond’s intricate drumming. He romps throughout with a tenor line that’s very exciting. The second number is quite another matter. Coming in at close to ten minutes in length, it opens with promise as pianist Peter Zak lays down some interesting ideas. Although there is a frothy profusion of Dillon’s full tone, the band quickly runs out of gas and ideas with the number losing the listener’s interest. The old adage that good things come in small packages might well be kept in mind.

For a delightful change of pace, Dillon and the band take up the Antonio Carlos Jobim’s bossa nova entitled “Triste” ( English sad).  They deliver the number with sensitivity, and on both Dillon’s tenor solo and Zak’s piano work, they both play with an appreciation of what it takes to make someone feel good.

The album closes with an unusual selection Jimi Hendrix’s “Third Stone From The Sun”. Dillon opens the number with strong Coltrane-esque phrasings and runs that showcase his capability to make thematic pronouncements. Throughout the number he demonstrates his fleet fingered technique and a bold voice in his improvised excursions.


I Hear A Rhapsody; Peace; Out In The Open; Triste; Night And Day; Everything Happens To Me; Untitled; New Blues; Third Stone From The Sun

—Pierre Giroux


Link to more info and track samples here.

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