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Thursday, August 22, 2019

CD Review: Tini Thomsen’s MaxSax – Shift


Tini Thomsen (baritone saxophone); Nigel Hitchcock (alto saxophone); Tom Trapp (guitar); Mark Haanstra (bass); Joost Kroon (drums) with guest Miles Bould (percussion).
(Review by Hugh C)

Tini Thomsen originally hails from Hamburg but more recently has been based in Amsterdam.  Shift is the third album released by MaxSax.  King of Diamonds sets the tone and hits the listener straight away with high energy performance over a driving rock-style beat from Kroon’s powerhouse drumming.  Shift features more of Hitchcock’s alto, but maintains the rhythmic drive of the opening track.  The Gospel Tune has a slower, more laid back (well, gospel) feel with interesting interplay between both the saxes and Trapp’s guitar.  Little Lily’s Shoe brings us back to driving four time.

Happy Segment Day is in a funkier groove, with subtle melodic effects from both alto and baritone horns.  Planet Funk (at least I assume this is the title of the 6th track despite what appears to be a typo on the CD cover where a “c” replaces the “n” of funk!) is the shortest track on the album at 1:38, but is probably the heaviest so far (in rock guitar terms that is).  Big Boys starts in a similar vein. It’s probably no surprise that these two tracks are from the pen of Tom Trapp, who also composed the first track.  The remaining tracks are Thomsen compositions.  Bitter Sweet Harmony benefits from Miles Bould’s impressive array of percussive implements imparting an Afro-jazz feel.  Petal#6  (jointly composed by Thomsen and Nigel Hitchcock)  is addressed to all MaxSax fans and is partly vocalised and partly “spoken” through alto and baritone saxophones.  Walk completes the CD.

This is certainly an interesting listen, with much to commend it.  The style of music leans toward the rock style, in both percussion and guitar terms.  There is however an overall jazz feel – mainly imparted by Thomsen’s baritone and Hitchcock’s alto - with a sprinking of gospel and other  influences.  The CD is issued on 393 Records (TTNCD-008) and is available now.  Tini Thomsen will be at Royal Albert Hall, London as part of Prom 64 “The Breaks” on September 6.

And...
...Joost Kroon will be appearing at a social club near you in the near future.
Hugh C

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