Chad Eby Broken Shadows

On Broken Shadows, his second album, saxophonist/composer Chad Eby comes out swinging. Opening on soprano with the irresistible toe tapper by Thad Jones, "Tip Toe," Eby sticks to the essentials ― good tone and good time ― with a melodically intriguing, mid-tempo, piano-less trio take on the trumpeter's playful piece for big band. A tribute to tenorist Dewey Redman gets a rhythmically knotted treatment from the leader and guest soloist/staunch supporter Branford Marsalis. "Mira," clocking in at less than three minutes, is tender, lyrical and utterly heartfelt. "Line for Lackritz," a tribute to soprano saxist Steve Lacy, is compelling listening not only for Eby's roiling solo, but also for the visceral bass work by Steve Haines and feisty drums of Jason Marsalis. The trio are filled out by guitarist Doug Wamble on "I'm Still Here," who adds a tasty bit of harmonic definition to the proceedings. Besides six solid originals, Eby does justice to tunes by Charles Mingus, Tom Waits, Ornette Coleman and two pieces by Duke Ellington. Eby is a musician definitely worth checking out. (Cellar Live)