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Audiophile Audition Reviews “Good Tipper”…



Brian Charette – Good Tipper – Posi-Tone PR8128, 58:23 ****:

(Brian Charette – B-3 organ; Avi Rothbard – guitar; Jordan Young – drums; Yotam Silberstein –  guitar (2, 4, 7, 9); Mark Ferber – drums (2, 4, 7, 9); Joe Sucato – saxophone (10))

Brian Charette is one of the rising Hammond B-3 jazz stars. He is in demand as a sideman, and has worked with Lou Donaldson, Chaka Khan and Joni Mitchell. Additionally, he has graced jazz recordings with the likes of Bucky Pizzarelli, Mike DiRubbo and Tony Desare, while establishing himself as a rising star on the New York jazz scene. He studied classical music and writes master classes for Keyboard  Magazine. Now with Posi-tone Records, he has released two recordings in the last year, Square Oneand his current album, Good Tipper.

Good Tipper is an organ trio project with a twist. There are two separate ensembles, although the Avi Rothbard (guitar)/ Jordan Young group plays on eight of the twelve tracks. The title cut opens the album with an up tempo blues of a Charette original. Rothbard kicks it off on lead before Charette takes over at :45. His groove vibe is prevalent and he builds some rapid fire solos into the jam. Jordan Young contributes a nifty drum fill. All of this, in three-and-a-half minutes! He aligns with the Yotam Silberstein/guitar and Mark Ferber/drums configuration on the always spooky Rid Argent classic, “Time Of The Season”. Rod Argent has always injected jazziness into his pop hits, and Charette’s style is a perfect fit. The tonality has a Sixties feel to it, and the ensemble play is succinct. Many jazz players have delved into Richard Rodgers material. Charette has chosen the often-covered, “Spring Is Here”. He infuses jauntiness into the arrangement and divides the solos with Rothbard, who showcases his fluidity.

There are many interesting and “fun” selections of covers. “Cuando Cuando Cuando”, the loopy Italian pop song (recorded by many early sixties pop singers) is a surprising treat. Charette maintains the bossa nova, melodic cadence, but delivers some percolating, jazzy runs. It seems like 1962 again. Another unexpected choice is John Barry’s “You Only Live Twice” (from the James Bond movie of that name). Again, the familiarity of the Nancy Sinatra version is re-created with counter-leads by Charette and Silberstein. This is the first of three pop songs, and two Jimmy Webb tunes follow. “Wichita Lineman” was a career defining moment for Glen Campbell. Charette is able to summon the winsome melancholy of the vocals in his play. There is a subtle gospel dynamic to the organ. Silberstein’s sharp notation and improvisation lend a Wes Montgomery-like resonance. On “Up Up And Away” the structure emphasizes the basic hooks of the tune (including the last refrain) and its carefree flow. Webb’s songbook is intricate and well-crafted and receives fresh treatment in the hands of Charette.

There are five original numbers on Good Tipper. “Standing Still” utilizes a swing waltz-time in straight ahead trio play. On a change of pace, “To Live Your Life” is atmospheric with some complex chord progressions. “One and Now” is a lively samba number that expands to quartet with the addition of saxophonist Joe Sucato. Charette unleashes a spirited organ solo before handing it over to Sucato and Rothbard. It is old school bop and it works. The finale is a lively rendition of a classic Joe Henderson opus, “The Kicker”, which gives drummer Jordan Young a well-deserved solo.

Regardless of the stylistic variations, Good Tipper is good jazz!

TrackList: Good Tipper; Time Of The Season; Spring Is Here; Cuando Cuando Cuando; Another Quarter; Standing Still; You Only Live Twice; Wichita Lineman; Up Up And Away; One And Nine; To Live In Your Life; The Kicker

–Robbie Gerson



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Brian Charette’s “Good Tipper” gets covered by Dusted in Exile….



Brian Charette – Good Tipper (Positone)


Organist Brian Charette keeps the schedule of a shark, always on the move and making things happen. Any lapse in activity and he starts to get bored. The once-a-year release schedule of his old label Steeplechase couldn’t keep pace with his output, a quandary that facilitated a switch to Brooklyn-based Positone that also increased his currency stateside.

Good Tipper follows a playbook similar to its predecessor mixing originals and covers with a lean toward the latter. An unintentional side effect is the feeling that Charette could probably play this stuff in his sleep, but that doesn’t make the results any less groovy, particularly when his choice in covers casts such a wide net and succeeds in cementing an unruffled retro sound. There’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure in Charette’s song reservoir, just catchy melodies and rhythms to be expanded and retooled regardless of their source.

Guitarist Avi Rothbard and drummer Jordan Young complete Charette’s classic B-3 schematic, each player steeped in the deep history of their chosen format. A third of the tracks swap out Rothbard and Young for guitarist Yotam Silberstein and drummer Mark Ferber, both of whom were Charette’s partners on his Positone debut, but the personnel changes do nothing to disrupt the flow of the program. The gliding groove of the title track serves as concise palate cleanser before Charette takes down his first cover, The Zombies’ “Time of the Season.” The ensuing vibe is all mohair suits and Pall Mall menthols via Happy Hour at the Holiday Inn, but Ferber syncopates smoothly and Silberstein comps in the corners in such a way that the three successfully (and somewhat miraculously) circumvent any kitsch.

“Spring is Here” and “Cuando Cuando Cuando” cover the jazz standard and Latin bases respectively before a pair of originals, the first by Rothbard and the following by the leader. “Another Quarter” brings the funk with a heavy film of Hammond grease and the effect is The Meters as dosed on Diazepam. Charette channels his inner-Art Neville as Rothbard picks a luminous single-note solo against a pocket-clinging backbeat. “Standing Still” shakes off tonal opacity in favor of a straightforward groove and it’s another stage-setter this time for the triple-punch of John Barry’s “You Only Live Twice” with “Wichita Lineman” and “Up Up and Away” from the Jimmy Webb songbook. Charette has a ball with all three, bringing a soaring Baptist church vibe to the Bond theme that skirts the edges of operatic excess. The reinventions of the Webb tunes are similarly audacious, fusing an AM Radio populism to the honky-tonk anthems that once again keeps the kitsch in check.

The closing tracks of the program prove just engaging. Saxophonist Joe Sucato lends his velvet horn to the brisk Rothbard samba “One And Nine” as an eleventh hour guest and then disappears. Charette’s relaxed-tempo ballad “To Live in Your Life”, afloat in verdant swells, shimmering guitar chords and pattering brushes contrasts with a rapid, but uncluttered rendition of Joe Henderson’s “The Kicker.” Considered in sum the album is an effort worthy of a listener gratuity greater than the standard 15 percent.

Derek Taylor


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SomethingElse Reviews Brian Charette “Good Tipper’…




Barely six months after issuing his for album for Posi-Tone Records, B3 maestro Brian Charette returns with Good Tipper, another small-combo excursion expected out October 7, 2014 from Posi-Tone Records. Returning with Yotam Silberstein (guitar) and Mark Ferber (drums) for four tracks, Charette works with another guitar/drums combo of Avi Rothbard and Jordan Young for the remaining eight.

Charette doesn’t slow down for this one, he hops to it right out the gate with his original, the title song, a lively tune with the leader playing bop sax lines on his B3. And on “Standing Still,” another one of his compositions, he takes this waltz and manages to make it groove.

Rothbard does more than play guitar, contributing two tunes (“Another Quarter” and “One And Nine”). “Another Quarter” is a 60s-style boogaloo, where Charette’s stinging tone for his solo is another instance of him doing a something a little unexpected. Joe Sucato guests on “One And Nine,” a Brazilian shuffle, and his tenor sax portrays Stan Getz’s own approach to this style. Rothbard’s guitar is no slouch, either; his clean and supple lines makes a good better (check out Richard Rodgers’ “Spring Is Here” for proof).

The covers, which comprise of more than half of the album, makes Charette’s interpretive skills a major focus on this album, and interestingly, he draws heavily from the mid-to-late 60s pop canon. Yep, “Wichita Lineman” is in here, as is another Jimmy Webb classic, “Up Up and Away.” On the former, the song begins to truly soar when Rothbard takes over in the last two and a half minutes, and Silberstein and Charette harmonize well together on the latter. The Zombies hit “Time Of The Season” was also a good choice because it’s an organ-heavy Rod Argent song. Argent is nearly as key of the development or the organ in rock as Jimmy Smith in jazz, and Charette sets himself apart from most jazz organists by drawing from that important influence in equal measure.

Charette adds pizzazz to the Al Martino Brazilian ditty “Cuando Cuando Cuando,” but Silverstein steals the show with his funky technique and comping that is very perceptive of what Charette is doing on organ. The hard swinging “The Kicker” makes it two albums in a row where Charette tips his hat to the later tenor sax giant Joe Henderson. On this one, the last track, Charette sets the place on fire with his right hand runs, and the proceedings are capped off by Young’s hard driving drum solo.

Good Tipper is a return back to organ jazz basics for Brian Charette, who still can’t help putting a refreshingly different spin on things. Nevertheless, he demonstrates here that he’s got the fundamentals down, as he roots down for yet another satisfying outing.

– See more at:

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Bop n Jazz writes up Brian Charette “Good Tipper”…

Brian Charette Good Tipper Posi-Tone 2014

Good TipperGood Tipper

Bop ‘n Jazz

Brian Charette’s great year ends on a high note with Good Tipper! Insanely good!

There are a lot of fine organ players working the scene, Brian Charette is simply one of the best. Charette’s sophomore release for Posi-Tone is a hard hitting effort that is as soulful and it is soul filled! Two rhythms sections fill out this date and include Avi Rothbard on guitar as well as perennial favorite Yotam Silberstein. Jordan Young and Mark Ferber share the drum chair while saxophonist Joe Sucato makes a welcome cameo. 

While the Charette original “Good Tipper” sets the table, there are some incredible fun covers here (yes…improvisational music should be fun!). The album rock classic “Time Of The Season” along with “Cuando Cuando Cuando” hold a harmonic groove while never moving over to the more easy listening side of the street and this is Charette’s greatest strength as an artist. A lyrical sense of style while allowing the entire ensemble to show off their talents. As tight a band as one might hear. “Standing Still” is another notable contribution from Charette along with the closing Joe Henderson tune “The Kicker.” 

Soulful, funky and with a rock steady consistency there is little doubt Posi-Tune has hit pay dirt with Brian Charette. A must for 2014. 


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All About Jazz reviews Brian Charette “Good Tipper”…





Nine of the eleven tracks on organist Brian Charette’s Square One (Posi-Tone, 2014) were originals, but that doesn’t mean he’s uninterested in tackling the music of others. In fact, judging by this album, it would seem that he really digs digging into covers. Everybody from film score icon John Barry to tunesmith Jimmy Webb to saxophonist Joe Henderson gets a nod during the fun-filled Good Tipper

Charette has built a reputation as one of the most adventuresome yet respectful organists operating today, something that’s evident on this album when you hear him cook on a twenty-bar blues (“Good Tipper”), toy with his sound on a grooving original from guitaristAvi Rothbard (“Another Quarter”), recast a Richard Rodgers classic in five (“Spring Is Here”) or deliver surprisingly straightforward takes on a James Bond theme (“You Only Live Twice”) and a classic from The Zombies (“Time Of The Season”). He’s not looking to simply walk in the footsteps of other organists, but he’s also not out to alter the organ’s position in the jazz firmament. He enjoys pushing, pulling and expanding the instrument’s reach a bit while staying true to the music.

In addition to the aforementioned covers, Charette and company deliver an enthusiastic “Cuando Cuando Cuando,” an album-ending take on Henderson’s “The Kicker,” and two different Jimmy Webb classics—”Wichita Lineman,” which is covered so often it could almost be considered a standard at this point, and “Up, Up And Away,” a number that wreaks of musical kitsch in its decades-old form(s), but sounds just fine when Charette gets done with it. The rest of the program is filled out by pleasing original numbers like “One And Nine,” a lively Rothbard tune that brings saxophonist Joe Sucato aboard, and “To Live In Your Life,” a relatively mellow Charette number.

Two different trios take flight here, as Charette works with Rothbard and drummerJordan Young on eight tracks and turns to guitarist Yotam Silberstein and drummerMark Ferber on the remaining four, but they travel on similar flight paths. The latter rhythm section works its magic on most of the pop-leaning pieces while the former duo helps Charette cover all angles. The music is all solid and appealing, regardless of which trio is at play. Good Tipper=good music.

Track Listing: Good Tipper; Time Of The Season; Spring Is Here; Cuando Cuando Cuando; Another Quarter; Standing Still; You Only Live Twice; Wichita Lineman; Up, Up And Away; One And Nine; To Live Your Life; The Kicker.

Personnel: Brian Charette: organ; Avi Rothbard: guitar (1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10-12); Jordan Young: drums (1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10-12); Joe Sucato: tenor saxophone (10); Yotam Silberstein: guitar (2, 4, 7, 9); Mark Ferber: drums (2, 4, 7, 9).


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Lucid Culture covers Brian Charette “Square One”

Brian Charette - Square One cover


Trying to Keep Up with Organ Individualist Brian Charette

by delarue

Brian Charette is one of the world’s most interesting and distinctive voices on the organ. Classically trained, he’s made his name in jazz although his music is just as informed by classic 60s soul, funk and even reggae. He tours constantly and writes prolifically, and he’s playing the album release for his latest one, Good Tipper; tonight and also tomorrow night, Oct 9 at Smalls at 10 PM; cover is $20 and includes a drink. Joining him for the album show are Yotam Silberstein on guitar and Mark Ferber – who really has a feel for this funky groove stuff – on drums.

The album BEFORE the latest one (yeah – the guy works fast) is a Posi-Tone release, streaming at Spotify, titled Square One. Charette has a devious sense of humor and that’s apparent right from the jaunty strut of the opening track, Aaight!, which eventually squares itself more or less into a swinging shuffle. Charette and Silberstein move more frantically yet purposefully over Ferber’s blistering yet nimble pulse on their take of Joe Henderson’s If, followed by the vintage soul-infused Three for Martina, a metrically tricky ballad with organ and then guitar holding to a warmly reflective mood.

People on Trains follows a wryly lyrical narrative: the subway takes its time pulling out of the station and then scurries along, fueled by the guitar, then the process repeats itself. It isn’t long before Charette throws in a New York-centric subway joke or two (the album cover pictures him chilling down under the Manhattan Bridge). Likewise, True Love kicks off slowly before Charette pulls it out of its balmy reverie, then Silberstein takes it back with a minimalist, practically Satie-esque solo. Then they get a swaying groove going with a warmly purposeful take of the Meters’ classic Ease Back, Silberstein adding droll wah-wah licks.

Time Changes alludes to a famous Dave Brubeck album: it’s a jazz waltz with summery soul riffage. A Fantasy does much the same with trickier rhythms and spiraling solos from guitar and drums against Charette’s anthemic washes. Yei Fei is a blend of indie classical circularity and hints of airily eerie Jehan Alain church organ music: you might not think that something like this would work, but it does. Things You Don’t Mean mixes up a strutting New Orleans funk groove with a hardbop guitar attack and then an absolutely creepy quote and variations from the Alain songbook: it’s killing, Charette at his outside-the-box best. The album sprints to the finish line with Ten Bars for Eddie Harris, the most trad organ-lounge track here – but even that goes off the rails into a deliciously warped interlude. Who is the audience for this? People who like Dr. Lonnie Smith, jambands, funk and soul and sophisticated original jazz tunesmithing, which is ultimately what this is.


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David Orthmann reviews Walt Weiskopf “Overdrive”…

Walt Weiskopf - Overdrive cover






Here’s a proposition for anyone who is about to plunk down their hard earned dollars on Steely Dan’s Jamalot Ever After Tour. For a mere fraction of the cost of a ticket you can invest in a copy ofOverdrive, the recently released set of original music byWalt Weiskopf, the band’s longtime tenor saxophonist. A viable alternative to the pleasures of SD’s warhorses, the disc has a “greatest hits” vibe of its own. It’s a composite of the dozen or so records under his leadership released over the past twenty-five years. Weiskopf, who often uses down time during SD’s tours to work on compositions, continues to develop a recognizable, challenging and invigorating sound which incorporates disciplined musicianship, adventuresome structures, memorable melodies, and a tightly wound group concept that yields surprises, large and small.

The leader’s tenor sets the tone of most of the tracks, especially the compositions “Like Mike,” “Four Horsemen,” and a wicked section of “Midwinter Night’s Dream,” all of which sound like they were generated by the horn. Weiskopf partially offsets the galvanizing effect of his instrument by utilizing the comparatively sedate sounds of Behn Gillece‘s vibraphone and Yotam Silberstein‘s guitar. By allowing a limited number of solos on most of the cuts and keeping the improvisations (by today’s standards) relatively brief, he avoids disconnect between the heads and solos and steers clear of the longwinded quality that pervades many current jazz recordings. Another unifying factor is the presence of subtle, smartly placed, written figures behind the soloists during tracks such as “The Path Is Narrow,” “Overdrive,” and “Waltz For Dad.” Weiskopf evinces a tender, romantic streak on “Jewel And A Flower” and “What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life” (the only standard on the record). A jarring, no nonsense, blues sensibility fuels his heads and solos on “Night Vision” and “No Biz.”

As of this writing the only opportunity to hear Weiskopf on his own terms is a pair of dates at Smalls Jazz Club in New York City in mid-December. Speaking as someone who can testify to the intensity of his live shows, I believe that Overdrive is a fitting substitute for the experience of sitting in close proximity and feeling his sound resonate through your nervous system. Not unlike the best jazz recordings, it works on a visceral level, and most importantly, it’s a brilliant representation of the breadth and depth of Weiskopf’s talent.
Track Listing: The Path Is Narrow; Like Mike; Jewel And A Flower; Night Vision; Overdrive; Waltz For Dad; Four Horsemen; Midwinter Night’s Dream; What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?; No Biz.

Personnel: Walt Weiskopf:tenor saxophone; Behn Gillece: vibraphone; Yotam Silberstein: guitar; Peter Zak: piano; David Wong: bass; Donald Edwards: drums.




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More All About Jazz coverage for Walt Weiskopf “Overdrive”…


Walt Weiskopf: Overdrive (2014)


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Walt Weiskopf: Overdrive

Since making his first two records on the independent Iris label back in the early ’90s, Walt Weiskopf has staked a claim as one of the most advanced and iconic tenor saxophonists in jazz. However, even as he went on to record one great record after another for Criss Cross beginning in 1993, Weiskopf remained under the radar of most listeners and seldom even registered on most critics polls.

Over the past several years his profile has risen via regular road work with the groupSteely Dan. What is great about this particular role is that within the framework of a popular touring act, there still is plenty of space for Weiskopf to exert himself musically. Although it’s been four long years since his last Criss Cross date, See the Pyramid, Weiskopf has fortunately joined the fold at Posi-Tone and his debut for the label is yet another singular release in his distinguished catalog.

Weiskopf is a talented improviser, but his real strengths have also always come in his compositional genius. This is no less the case with this new effort. And like his greatest work, Weiskopf always sounds best when he fills his ensembles with other lead voices. That signature blend of angular melodies is there at the get-go of “The Path is Narrow,” with Weiskopf’s tenor speaking in tandem with Yotam Silberstein‘s guitar. The upbeat vibe of “Like Mike” trades the guitar unison with the vibes of Behn Gillece, reminding one of the great teaming of Weiskopf and Joe Locke on the Criss Cross set Anytown. During his solo, the tenor saxophonist steams forward with a rush of quicksilver ideas that seem to be bursting at the seams. Then the tempo switches to cut time after a restating of the theme, leading to some collective interplay between Weiskopf and Silberstein.

Providing the perfect bookend to complement the previously penned “Song for My Mother,” the lovely “Waltz for Dad” includes a nice melodic hook at the end of the leading phrase. Drummer Donald Edwards a mainstay of the Weiskopf fold for the past several albums, boots things along nicely as pianist Peter Zak makes his own piquant statement with sly backing lines provides by Weiskopf and Gillece. 



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Walt Weiskopf and Ralph Bowen get high praise from Richard Kamins of StepTempest …

If ever there was an apropos name for recording, “Overdrive” is the one.  The brand new CD by saxophonist/composer Walt Weiskopf, his debut on Posi-Tone, is powered by the rhythm section of Donald  Edwards(drums), David Wong (bass) and Peter Zak (piano). The leader, who sticks to tenor sax for this date, also utilizes the talents of Yotam Silberstein (guitar) and label mate Behn Gillece(vibraphone).

The program powers out of the gate with the first of 9 original compositions, “The Path Is Narrow.”  The saxophonist heads straight to hard-bop territory but, to his credit, all the songs have solid melody lines.  His insistent attack, powerful tone and forceful solos stand out on pieces such as “Like Mike” (the lightning fast melody line will pin you to the chair), the title track (where Edwards’ cymbals set a torrid pace) and “No Biz” (where Weiskopf delivers a Coltrane-esque solo and Silberstein channels Charlie Christian).  The blend of Gillece’s vibes with the guitar, sax and piano on “Night Vision” stands out – the mix is so clear each instrument stands out.


The program includes several lovely ballads.  “Jewel And A  Flower” opens with a lovely melody and is notable for the harmony created by Zak’s left hand and the bass.  The vibes serve to color the melody and frees Wong to create counterpoint to the sax.  The blend of guitar and saxophone on the theme of “Waltz For Dad” fills out the sound, leaving both the piano and vibes to create the sumptuous background. The one non-orginal track, Michel LeGrand’s “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life“, a piece one might expect to hear as a ballad, is taken at a a medium tempo, giving the song a lighter feel.

Walt Weiskopf released 9 CDs for Gerry Teekens’ Criss Cross label (10, if you also count the season he co-led with saxophonist And Fusco), recordings that featured ensembles of various sizes, especially the 2 nonet albums. “Overdrive” displays his craftsmanship as both a musician and composer (his compositions all have very good melodies).  This is good music to play with the windows open, bright and appealing.  For more information, go to

Standard Deviation“, the 5th Posi-Tone release for tenor saxophonist Ralph Bowen, is another recording that lives up to its name.  The program is comprised of all standards, an approach that Bowen has yet to attempt in his discography.  However, the saxophonist does not deviate from his style;  he’s a powerful player with a full sound yet always keeps melody foremost in his music.  Joining him in this venture is Donald Edwards (drums) and Kenny Davis (bass) – the rhythm section from 2011’s “Power Play” release  – plus pianist Bill O’Connell

The quartet has fun with these pieces, some of which are considered “evergreens.” The program opens with Richard Rodgers’ “Isn’t It Romantic” (originally performed by Jeanette MacDonald in the 1932 movie “Love Me Tonight”). The rhythm section pushes the tempo up while both Bowen and O’Connell swing the heck out of the piece, the former adding real muscle to his sound.  Jerome Kern composed “Yesterdays” for the 1933 film “Roberta”.  Here, the pianist’s arrangement adds a Latin feel and lets Bowen loose over the energetic drumming (Edwards’ ability to “drive” an ensemble has been well documented over the past few years, from his work with pianist Orrin Evans to the Mingus Big Band.)

One of the other better-known piece on the CD is “You Don’t Know What Love Is“, composed by Gene de Paul (music) and Don Raye (lyrics), was originally composed for a movie starring Abbott & Costello (!) but was eventually pulled.  The movie studio, Universal, then placed the song in one its lesser productions (starring The Ritz Brothers).  The movie is long forgotten but the song as been recorded by countless pop and jazz artists.  Bowen and company play the song as a smoky ballad, with a most passionate reading by the leader.

O’Connell’s left hand joins with the bass of Davis to underpin the latin-inspired rhythms of Cole Porter’s “Dream Dancing“, the track with the longest and arguably, best tenor solo on the CD and that follows a wonderful solo by the pianist. Davis creates a furious walking line on the final track, “By Myself“, serving as a launching pad for a fiery tenor solo and rollicking work from Edwards.

Standard Deviation” is anything but standard or deviant. What it is is good music, fine playing and a pleasure to listen to.  For more information, go to or

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Midwest Records chimes in on Walt Weiskopf “Overdrive”…

WALT WEISKOPF/Overdrive: Delightful. A modern day cat that can deliver the daddio without the pretension. A driving, swinging straight ahead sax led session, this cat can blow and wail up a storm of late night oomph that makes you wonder where all the energy comes from. The back up crew is right in step making this a winner throughout. By all means, check it out.