Dan Higgins
Purchase from:
iTunes | danhiggins.net

The latest offering by saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist, Dan Higgins will not disappoint. This West Coast session player is well-known playing on countless recordings, television shows and full-length feature films from the last 20 years. Read more about Dan HERE.

Unlike many of Dan’s most popular recordings which feature a full orchestra or big band, this Cd, Voicing a Standard, suggests a more intimate setting – the jazz quartet. Dan’s alto sound is just – well, perfect. If you look in the dictionary under “alto saxophone sound”, Dan should be standing there, holding his alto. Yes, his sound is that good.

While I am a fan of brighter saxophone sounds, Dan Higgins does not possess a particularly bright sound. By the same token, it is not devoid of edge or projection. It is simply an old Meyer 5M on a gold plated Selmer Mark VI, played by a master of the instrument. We can all learn something about sound production from listening to Mr. Higgins play the alto saxophone.

Enough about his alto sound. Dan Higgins also breaks out the clarinet with a couple choruses on clarinet on the 8th track, Equinox. His clarinet sound is full, woody and not unlike that of Eddie Daniels.

Well, you can tell that I am a fan of Dan Higgins’ sound. There are three other musicians contributing to this ensemble as well as Higgins. Jim Cox plays Fender Rhodes. Michael Valerio is on bass and veteran session player Vinnie Colaiuta on drums. The quartet plays clever and sometimes cute arrangements of ten standard tunes. The ensemble playing is tight (as you would expect from these four) and the solos inspired.

In the end, three of the most dominating recommendations reside on the back cover of the Cd itself. Quincy Jones, John Williams and Sammy Nestico all give Dan kudos on his fine musicianship and wonderful Cd, Voicing a Standard. Why listen to me? You’ve got these three telling you to listen!

Reviewed by Skip – SaxShed.com