Mestari — Mestari
(Charlotte 590131, 1993, CD)
by Dan Casey, Published 1995-03-01Recorded in 1993, this four-piece jazz quartet featuring Yochk'o Seffer on various saxes was a logical precursor to the new Zao album, and while the latter more closely approaches progressive, Mestari is not without enough musicianship to keep the prog-fusion lover happy. The other players include Francois Mechali on contrabass (stand-up bass), Thierry Maillard on piano, and Patrick Buchmann on drums. In general, the bass and piano create a unison riff from which Seffer springs forth a counterpoint or melodic line, usually followed by some sax soloing and a re-engergized return to the theme. Typical jazz, you might say, but the performances are so good that the old formula works. The other guys have opportunities to solo as well, and the take advantage of it, particularly the bassist, but the real focus is definitely on the sax. Here Seffer also plays some tenor and baritone sax, which he doesn't on the new Zao, and the other timbres are a welcome departure from the somewhat harsh and shrill soprano sax. The recording is very professional and clean, making Mestari and even more attractive package. Recommended to Zao fans, and anyone else who enjoys the jazzier sides of progressive music.
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