The Borderland - MusicWatch
Alexander McCabe - Quiz
By John M. Peters

This is the first album in five years as band leader for saxophonist Alexander McCabe. Quiz has seven tracks of original compositions and covers, all performed with gusto by his backing quartet of Uri Caine - piano, Ugonna Okegwo - bass, Greg Hutchinson - drums and Rudy Royston - drums. Overall, the music in this album is post-bop with a hard edge and a dash of free form running throughout. There is certainly a strong pulse of rhythm running right through the album, and Mr McCabe's alto sax glides over this and sometimes pulverises through it to get the message across. I imagine this album will appeal to fans of everyone from Miles Davis and Charlie Parker to the more radical musical forms of Ornette Coleman. The tracks are: Weezie's Waltz, Lonnegan, Kalido, Quiz, Good Morning Heartache, St. Pat, and How Little We Know. While most of the tracks are fast paced the epic-length and very mellow Good Morning Heartache allows the musicians to stretch out and solo for twelve minutes - it is also more mid-tempo and the listener can gather their wits while listening to it. And finally with How Little We Know we have a very mellow late night track, allowing romance into the mix. So, that is Quiz, an album of robust straight as a road jazz that should appeal to a lot of jazz fans and perhaps encourage non-jazz music lovers to give it a go.


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