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Home by David Brandom

Even if his name isn't instantly recognizable, saxophonist/composer David Brandom is likely more familiar to you than you think. His resume includes four years touring and recording with Frank Sinatra, an impressive tenure in some notable Broadway pit orchestras and stage and session work with a lengthy roster of top names in jazz and pop. On his new self-released solo album, Home, he demonstrates the kind of talent that his resume implies.

Brandom composed eight of the nine cuts on the album (the sole cover is an impressive version of Wes Montgomery's "Full House"), and his composition skills prove to be every bit as impressive as his instrumental work. This is straight ahead jazz, full of classic jazz sensibilities, but with a contemporary groove that makes it a natural step up for listeners looking for a path from smooth jazz to the straight stuff. The music on Home is proof positive that jazz can combine interesting rhythms and challenging improvisation while retaining the kind of melodic focus that offers accessibility to a broad audience of listeners.

The band that Brandom assembled for the album is as impressive as the music he created for it. I was particularly taken by the work of Jim O'Connor on trumpet and flugelhorn, who, like Brandom, has an unerring control of tone. Whether playing together or trading solos, Brandom and O'Connor are a front line combination worth hearing more from. Together, they put considerable demand on the rhythm section, and those demands are fully met. Home is an apt name for the disc, because it's certainly found one in my CD player.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: David Brandom
  • CD Title: Home
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2002
  • Record Label: Independent
  • Rating: Four Stars
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