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Immaculate ensemble playing from New Vision Sax


The New Vision Sax Ensemble, "Musical Journey Through Time" (Zaki Publishing)

You'll hear in this group from South Florida a lot of similarities to the Amherst Saxophone Quartet which originally formed at the State University of Buffalo.

In other words, they're more academically punctilious than the 29th Street Saxophone Quartet or the seminal saxophone Quartet of them all, the World Saxophone Quartet.

This is immaculate ensemble playing mostly, with a few strong solos added which are, by no means, necessarily the main point. The repertoire is, to put it mildly, all jazz "classics" --Dizzy's "A Night in Tunisia," Monk's "Round Midnight," selections from Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess," a medley of Scott Joplin beauties, Coltrane's favorite Rodgers and Hammerstein song "My Favorite Things," Leonard Bernstein's "I Feel Pretty" and, for vaudeville cred, "Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey."

It all ends with a very moving version of "Amazing Grace." Unlike the World Saxophone Quartet, you don't get that feeling that you get with major jazz players--that if you put four of them together under such disciplined circumstances, you'd better be prepared for one or more of them to bust out of prison and to threaten to blow the house down. This is a group composed of music educators delighted to play very beautiful music together which will impress the bejabbers out of their students.

3 1/2 stars (out of four)

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