Dave Anderson - Melting Pot

Label: Label 1, 2018

Personnel - Dave Anderson: soprano and alto saxophones; Dave Restivo: piano; Hans Glawischnig: bass; Memo Acevedo: drums; Roberto Quintero: percussion; Bryan Davis: trumpet; Itai Kriss: flute; Need Murgai: sitar, voice; Ehren Hanson: tabla; Deep Singh: tabla.

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Saxophonist/composer Dave Anderson celebrates New York City’s cultural differences in his latest album Melting Pot, for which he convened an incredibly professional world-jazz ensemble to dispatch five eclectic originals. The pieces, elegantly woven into an integrated sonic tapestry, are personalized with his unique signature.

Anderson starts off with the three-part Immigrant Suite, suffused with Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, and Indian influences. Its first part, “Juror Number One” has the rhythm section - pianist Dave Restivo, bassist Hans Glawischnig, drummer Memo Acevedo, and percussionist Roberto Quintero - launching an irresistible Latin rhythm to sustain a blues progression that serves as a magic carpet for the jazz peregrinations of the improvisers. Propelled by an elated rhythm of drums and pandeiro, “Querida”, meaning sweetheart in Portuguese, is also the title of a Jobim song. However, there’s no relation between the two, aside from being impregnated with smooth Brazilian-jazz flavors. The suite is concluded with “A Candle For Isaac”, which additionally features Bryan Davis on trumpet, Itai Kriss on flute, Need Murgai on sitar, and Ehren Hanson on tabla. The song was penned for Anderson’s girlfriend’s father (whom he never met) and blends the vivacity of the post-bop and the distinctive aesthetics of the Indian ragas. Anderson’s tone is particularly attractive here, and his off-kilter hooks enhance the already coloristic instrumentation.

The bandleader cooks another great solo on alto on the closing “Trance-like”, discharging sequences of notes that show his propensity for combining inside and outside playing. As a product of emotional inspiration, the piece feels inebriant, lifted up by the exotic sounds of the sitar and tabla.

Mantra” is pure jazz-fusion anchored in a deft groove, departing from a funky slogan repeated by Fender Rhodes and sax. Emboldened by the presence of Deep Singh’s tabla, the band navigates chord changes with forceful impulsivity, also revealing high levels of proficiency in the art of rhythm.

Melting Pot provides memorable songs that I plan to revisit many more times. Anderson transpires integrity and versatility in a refreshing, concise work whose energizing aural vibe is also disseminated by his kindred accompanists.

Favorite Tracks:

   Grade A- [8/10)

Grade A- [8/10)

03 - Immigrant Suite: A Candle For Isaac ► 04 - Mantra ► 05 - Trance-like