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Bob Mintzer is one of the premier tenor saxophonists of our time. His release on Art of Life Records is a testament to that fact.

In the Moment is a traditional-sounding, straight-ahead jazz quartet album, recorded at beautiful BiCoastal Music in Ossining, NY on December 16, 2004. The first cut, Straight Ahead is a hard swinging tune, just as the name implies. Mintzer is fast out of the blocks and does not disappoint with his signature post-Coltrane tenor sound. The second cut is a grooving Listen Here, originally made famous by Eddie Harris. The opening theme showcases both Minzter’s bass clarinet and tenor – a very cool sound indeed.

Time After Time, the often-played standard by Styne & Cahn, is fresh and full of play here. It’s a real treat to hear Bob Mintzer in this quartet setting – playing standards. This is something I have not tuned in to since wearing out my copy of Twin Tenors, which featured Mintzer and the late Michael Brecker – another “must have” in the collection of all modern tenor players.

The Cd hits its stride with the Afro-Cuban influenced Aha, and the subtle and pretty Simple Song. What’s the Word, played on bass clarinet here is recognizable from his popular Etude series. Originally played on tenor sax, it’s always nice to hear Mintzer stretch out on bass clarinet, his second voice.

Play Pretty, Blues and Forgiveness round out this very listenable offering from the Bob Mintzer Quartet. The entire Cd is easy on the ears – beautifully executed and recorded.

The Bob Mintzer Quartet Cd In the Moment shows yet another side of the gifted tenor saxophonist, bass clarinetist, composer, arranger and educator.

The trio of Jay Anderson, Phil Markowitz and long-time collaborator John Riley should not go unmentioned. They provide a harmonic and rhythmic foundation, which allows Mintzer to rise above the section and beyond.

In short, I thoroughly enjoyed checking out this release from tenor saxman Bob Mintzer. I look forward to listening to it many more times. There are always treasures to find after the first listening. You will most certainly enjoy it as well.

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Skip Spratt