issue 21 :: March 2012

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Review: Giuseppi Logan

The Giuseppi Logan Quintet CD (Thompkins Square)

Like Henry Grimes, saxophonist Giuseppi Logan returns to the scene after decades of hard life where fans presumed him dead or retired. The details are sad—see the feature in Signal to Noise 53—but he is back. It’s amazing that his playing is still recognizable from his two ESP records (1965, 1966), his wide vibrato much looser here. His backing band, including pianist Dave Burrell, who played with Logan just after the ESP records were cut, do a fine job in supporting Logan, making a record that is part beautifully in, and part strangely out. The fire of those ESP records might be gone, but this is far from tame. Mostly playing Logan’s pieces, the group tackles “Over the Rainbow” and “Blue Moon,” replacing schmaltz with heartfelt emotion. The all-too-brief shakedown of Miles Davis’ “Freddie Freeloader” gives Logan a platform for a snaky solo. Logan takes over the piano and sings for a tender original “Love Me Tonight.” If his plaintive and cracking crooning doesn’t break half your heart, you may be lacking one. This is a fine, diverse record if you haven’t heard it yet, and hopefully there will be more Logan records in the future.
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