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Wide Awake by Aaron Irwin Group

"Wide Awake" is the debut CD under his own leadership for New York based sax man Aaron Irwin. The young Irwin has already made his mark on the New York jazz scene, appearing on records with Tom Harrell and working as a sideman with Louis Bellson, Joe Lovano, Dave Leibman, Kenny Werner, and Nicholas Payton. He is also a member of the music faculty at the Bergen Academy of Music and Art in Oradell, NJ.

For this outing, Irwin gives us a set of seven original tunes, many of which pay tribute to musical influences - "Swallow This" (Steve Swallow) and "Cheeky" (Chris Creek). On three tunes he is joined by tenorist Bryan Murray, adding a more boppish sound to the group and providing some nice interplay with Irwin's soprano and alto saxophones. As a soloist, Irwin seems to have more to say on the alto, particularly on "Cinder On An Ash Heap" and "Folks I Dig."

The Tony Williams-influence drumming style of Vinnie Sperrazza and the presence of a Fender Rhodes (the only keyboard) work together to give this album a distinctly 70's feel, particularly reflective of CTI label-era efforts.

This debut CD is self-produced and apparently is not affiliated with a record label. Without a listing on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, it appears that this CD is available only through the artist. The Aaron Irwin Group performs regularly in New York (they are appearing at the C-Note as of this writing) so if you are in the Big Apple, take an evening and check out this talented young player.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Aaron Irwin Group
  • CD Title: Wide Awake
  • Genre: BeBop / Hard Bop
  • Year Released: 2004
  • Record Label: Independent
  • Tracks: Wide Awake, Cheeky, Dig Big, Cinder on An Ash Heap, Folks I Dig, Swallow This, Its Time To Go'
  • Musicians: Aaron Irwin, alto and soprano sax; Bryan Murray, tenor sax (tracks 2, 5, 7); Ryan Weaver, Fender Rhodes piano; Matt Clohesy, bass (tracks 2, 5, 6, 7); Jeff Kraly, bass (tracks 1, 3, 4); Vinnie Sperrazza, drums
  • Rating: Three Stars
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