WORKS: Beats Working for a Living
PERFORMER: Dave O’Higgins (ss, ts); Joe Locke (vib); Joey Calderazzo (p); James Genus (b); Adam Nussbaum (d)
CATALOGUE NO: 1009
British saxophonist Dave O’Higgins is by no means overawed by the stellar US company he keeps on this, his second album as leader for EFZ. Nor should he be: from the boilingly intense opener, ‘Alone Together’, through the six O’Higgins originals, to the album’s closing track, Charles Mingus’s tender ballad ‘Duke Ellington’s Sound of Love’, his invention never flags for a moment.
As he has proved in various contexts ranging from the original Roadside Picnic through the Pizza Express Modern Jazz Sextet to Jim Mullen’s band, O’Higgins is a superbly pithy saxophonist, and his gusty, swirling tenor and soprano performances here, whether tellingly combined with Joe Locke’s fluent vibes or merely stoked by a superb New York rhythm section, confirm his growing reputation as a world-class player. Chris Parker