Thursday, January 25, 2018

Album Review: Max Abrams - The Big Bash! EP

Max Abrams
The Big Bash! EP
*** out of *****
The Nashville based saxophonist Max Abrams has released an EP of swinging tunes with the help of his band and B3 player Red Young. Maybe it is best to let Abrams explain it himself:

Recently, my friend and favorite B3 player in the world, Red Young, called to say he was passing through Nashville on his way home to Austin, Texas. He was heading home from a gig in Canada and needed a place to stop and catch his breath. I said “Red, you’re not coming through my town without making a record with me.” Thankfully, he obliged. We made a little EP to celebrate the chance to make music together. Hope ya dig it. See you down the road!

Dig it we do. A fresh and funk move through some jazzy tunes that feel alive. Opening with "The Dirty Boogie" the whole outfit comes alive moving with class and precision. On "Be Doop Bop" Young takes over and moves things along on his organic organ, sounding warm with tones as solos come and go but that sweet B3 sound stays moving until all the players lock in to close with force, a disk highlight.

"Lucy and Desi" plays to the title characters with smirks and a Latin groove, while "Something About Texas" cools things out as a showcase for Abrams confident and restrained phrasing pairing him excellent with his friend Young. The EP closing "Red's Run" is just that, a grooving hip tune that would fit perfectly in a Pink Panther movie or a late night cellar jam session. Percussive changes mix things up while both friends let the groove take them away.

A short exploration, thrown together last minute that shines on every song. Perhaps in the future there will be more from this pairing of sounds, but as it stands, The Big Bash! is a winning slice of smooth swinging jazz to start off 2018.   
Support the artist, buy the album or stream it below and on bandcamp.

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