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Perspectives by Christian Winther

Saxophonist Christian Winther, a graduate of the University of New Orleans Jazz Studies Program can be counted as yet another success story for the Program's Director Emeritus Ellis Marsalis. Perspectives is his recording debut as a leader, and it's a solid effort from start to finish. Although Winther is still a year shy of 30, he's been performing on professional stages since the age of 11, and years of experience and study pay off in both in his confident musicianship and his polished skills as a composer.

As a leader, Winther is notably generous, freely allowing his sidemen to take the spotlight. A fine example is pianist David Torkanowsky's strong presentation on Thelonious Monk's "Four In One," and it's hard to imagine any of this session taking place without the masterful contribution of Antonio Gambrell's trumpet. Ultimately, though, it's Winther's show, and that fact is never more evident than on the two original compositions that close the recording. "Erin's Song" is as fine an example of contemporary bebop as you'll find, and the title track, a richly textured ensemble performance, display's the rhythmic influence of what Winter's New Orleans forbearer Jelly Roll Morton dubbed "the Spanish tinge" while showcasing Winther's affinity for melodic improvisation.

With bassist David Pulphus and drummer Troy Davis rounding out the lineup of first rank New Orleans musicians in the quintet, Perspectives is the kind of debut that leaves me anxious to hear what's next.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Christian Winther
  • CD Title: Perspectives
  • Genre: BeBop / Hard Bop
  • Year Released: 2002
  • Record Label: Curious Cat Records
  • Tracks: Softly As In A Morning Sunrise, Four In One, Monkey Puzzle, Body And Soul, Proclamation, Magnolia Triangle, Erins Song
  • Musicians: Christian Winther (tenor saxophone), Antonio Gambrell (trumpet), David Torkanowsky (piano), David Pulphus (bass), Troy Davis (drums)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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