Davis / Ulrich / Baumann / Lutek / Richards / Jefferson Urs Blöchlinger Tribute

The jazz world is awash with tribute concerts/recordings, and that's why it's extraordinary that this one stands out. First, unlike the hordes of tributes to jazz luminaries like Miles, Mingus and Monk, this is dedicated to a musician few outside of Swiss aficionados know. Next, the artists involved didn't do this to bathe in the reflected glory of their dedicatee, since the under-recorded composer/saxist is not well known. So what do bassist Neal Davis and his intercontinental collaborators get out of doing this tribute? Simple: the chance to play intriguing, challenging music with creative peers while drawing attention to a neglected comrade's work. Starting with "Geppetto und Pinocchio," with saxist Peter Lutek's sinuously unfolding solo and Christoph Baumann's crisply articulated piano lines, the CD's six tracks, recorded live at the Rex Jazz Club in Toronto, ON, have the exuberant feel that continues to make jazz a living music. The barn burning "Baghwan Business" with Kelly Jefferson on soprano sax and Tom Richards on trombone wraps up this celebration of a creative musician's life and work. Recommended. (Pet Mantis)