I'm not sure what had me out of the sax for so long...no, wait, I take that back: it was Dave Sanborn. Yep, sounds insane but it was. Having first developed an affinity for the horn via Mel Collins, Hank Crawford and Grover Washington were later introduced, and I slowly drifted into the likes of Dewey Redman and Jan Garbarek, the latter my choice for the Lord of the instrument. Always dug Sanborn's work as a sessioneer, but his solo LPs left me cold and I, for reasons not quite IDed, let the instrument fall out of manifold affinities. Lately, through various means, not the least of which was the ultra-cool Concord Picante 25th Anniversary jazz box I found for a steal, I re-ignited the old love affair and, man, this Scott Martin CD could't have come a moment too soon for that.
Martin's a well respected cat, having spent a long incumbency with the Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band as well as being a steadfast in the Latin On The Jazz Side All Stars, a man admired near and far, and Only Trust Your Heart, the fifth in a series of his ensemble's releases, sails forward as a noteworthy addition to the Latin jazz catalogue, not to mention a return to the revivifying sounds of bossa, samba, and the whole Brazilian esplanade of highly rhythmic composition and tropical hedonism. The guy's smoother than smooth but more than capable of tearing loose on a chops-imbued solo just when you least expect it, wide-eyed, ears filled, heart racing, gearing up into the shift.
In an excellent selection of tracks, as well as a couple self-written, Martin's cover of Mangione's Land of Make Believe will send chills up the spine as a smile steals across your face. I've always loved Chuck's work, and Scott does him exemplary justice, rhythm section blazing away, carrying the melody beautifully before jumping into a series of solos and exchanges twixt Justo Almario and him which surprisingly break down into an intriguing cross-gabble at the close of the cut, a killer blend of the scripted and the free. Martin also sings in the closer, Michael Franks' Antonio's Song, himself sounding like a raspy version of Mikey. Throughout, though, the flawless five-man backing unit and guest Almario only add oceans of serene luster to Martin's satiny imaginative work. If, like me, you started out in the old heyday, you're going to find that it not only hasn't died but has instead emerged from a long-term chrysalis to fly groove-radiant into the skies. Grab it, throw it on, and test your own wings.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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