Town & Village

October 20, 2005
Barry Bassis

Alto Saxophonist Alexander McCabe's impressive debut CD "The Round" features original compositions performed by his quartet -pianist/accordion player Joe Barbato, bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Steve Johns. Four of the pieces are by McCabe, two are by Barbato and one is by Johns.

The title track is a melody inspired by traditional Irish music with McCabe's saxophone and Barbato's accordion playing continuously with bass and drum accompaniment to create the wild ambience of an Irish jam session. Barbato returns to accordion on his own "Salvo". McCabe has played and toured in the bands of Ray Charles and Chico O'Farrill, as well as with drummer George Coleman Jr. and Nancie Banks. He has also played on the film score for the James Bond film "Tomorrow Never Dies" and composed original soundtrack music for the film "River Of Grass". His varied experiences are reflected by "Jugo" with it's Cuban rhythm and "Yours" with it's blues inflections. To this listener, McCabe sounds like a modern version of a cool saxophonist in the Mold of Lee Konitz and Paul Desmond, though he cites neither of them as influences.



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