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12,399 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 118 of them this year alone and, so far, 118 this month (Jan. 25).

Monday, January 20, 2020

CD Review: Brian Scanlon - Brain Scan

(Review by Lance).

Brian Scanlon, a first call studio musician for over 32 years, is perhaps better known as first tenor sax in Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band and in particular for his tenor solo on The Jazz Police a chart that has pride of place in just about every big band's pad.

Amazingly, with such a pedigree, this is his first album as leader and he makes the most of it. As a soloist we already knew his standing but here he adds his skills as a composer, arranger and producer to his bag of tricks.

Playing-wise, David Sanborn springs to mind on alto and, maybe, Grover Washington on tenor which aren't bad influences to have although, over all, he comes across as very much his own man.

Eight of the nine tracks are composed and arranged by Scanlon the ringer being Harlem Nocturne. He does a job on this one upping the tempo so that it's less of a mournful wail (remember it as the theme tune to the Mickey Spillane/Mike Hammer/Stacy Keach tv series?)

Paradoxically, Scandalised is very much a film noir type theme. The guy in the fedora drinking bourbon, the dame in the slinky dress with the cigarette holder in one hand and the .32 in the other. Scanlon's alto, Avery Scanlon's guitar and Czach's piano all set the mood.

Erskine's drums slot right into the various grooves although the overall feel on the funkier numbers are more Spiro Gyra than Weather Report. Nevertheless this is an excellent album that is well worth checking out here.
Lance.

Brain Scan; El Entrometido; Re-entry; Not Watching (for Nancy); I Hear Something); Harlem Nocturne; Mark's time; My Right Foot; Scandalised.

Brian Scanlon (tenor sax/alto sax); Tom Rainier, Ed Czach (piano 4 tks each); Trey Henry (bass/bass guitar); Peter Erskine (drums); Joey De Leon (perc. on 5 tks) + Andrew Synowiec (guitar on 2 tks); Larry Koonse (guitar on 1 tk); Avery Scanlon (guitar on 2 tks).

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