The late Canadian saxophonist Fraser MacPherson is a legendary musical figure north of the border. A mainstay for decades on the Vancouver scene, MacPherson was awarded the Order of Canada, recorded a series of albums for Concord Records and toured internationally. Live @ Puccini’s captures the engaging, always swinging tenor saxophonist in an intimate club setting from 1977 with guitarist Oliver Gannon and bassist Wyatt Ruther.
The set list consists of swing-era standards performed in predictable straight-ahead fashion. The trio’s sound is energetic and relaxed. MacPherson’s lyrical tenor dances gracefully through up-tempo burners like "I Got Rhythm" and "Sweet Georgia Brown," and breathy ballads like "Body and Soul" and "Sophisticated Lady." His solos are inventive, highly logical and steeped in the tradition of his American contemporaries Zoot Sims and Al Cohn.
Gannon is a guitarist on par with the likes of Herb Ellis and Barney Kessel. Whether accompanying or soloing, the renowned veteran propels the music forward with his incessant rhythm and strong phrasing. Ruther plays the role of tireless workhorse, churning out rock-solid walking bass lines, never missing a beat.
A laid-back, toe-tapping listen from start to finish, this previously unreleased set is a welcome addition to the recorded legacy of an often overlooked jazz great.