Richard Tabnik Quartet | Life at the Core | NA1016

Richard Tabnik, alto saxophone | Andy Fite,, guitar | Roger Mancuso,, drums | Calvin Hill, bass

Tracklist: 1. Reach 2. Linearity 3. Souliloquy 4. You Know, take 1 5. You Know, take 2 6. Timescapes, take 1 7. Timescapes, take 2 8. Dearest 9. Life at the Core

Recording Date: Friday, November 13, 1992 at BMG Studios, NYC

“…(a) gem…With a feathery tone that never quite sounds the way altos are expected to, Tabnik plays delightfully off Fite’s spare, stark strums and the irresistible shove of Roger Macuso and Calvin Hill’s rhythms…unequivocally recommended.”- Andy Bartlett, Cadence

Richard Tabnik Quartet | Life at the Core | NA1016Richard Tabnik makes it no secret that he admires Lennie Trstano. You would think that his playing might also mirror some of Tristano’s sound, however this is not the case. Tabnik has his own voice. It seems that Richard Tabnik has learned how to love music and how to unconditionally express himself through the music that he creates, much like Lennie Tristano. At the root of Tabnik’s playing is a fundamentally different concept about playing the alto saxophone. Wispy and smooth, Tabnik transforms passages from Desmond-ish cool to stark, brightly lit punctuations which outline his solo phrases. With sparse articulation and an almost un-bop approach, the solos which are featured on this recording defy any predecessors.

The songs on this album are not tunes which you are likely to start singing in the shower. More likely you will be stuck contemplating what it is about these songs that is so engaging. The elements presented could easily be a standard jazz recording session, but as soon as the first notes well-up you are immediately informed that you are in for a wild ride. The strumming and linear stylings of guitarist Andy Fite combined with the driving rhythm provided by bassist Calvin Hill and drummer-extraordinaire Roger Mancuso provide the perfect background for Tabnik’s lightening-fast improvisations. Tabnik reaches into this foundation to pull interesting and tasty pieces out which he uses to shape and create his solos out of. This is especially apparent in the two takes of Tabnik’s tune “Timescapes” (cuts 6 and 7). Listen for the interplay between Fite and Tabnik as they wind through the changes. Richard Tabnik is someone that you should definately check out. This is an artist who is not afraid to be himself. — Review (c)1996 Jason DuMars


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