Steve Kaldestad Blow-Up

Steve Kaldestad Blow-Up
Mississauga, ON-born, Vancouver, BC-based tenor saxist/composer Steve Kaldestad wields his axe with authority. With a robust tone and swinging, rhythmic propulsion, his lines unwind fluidly, extending into the altissimo register without the clichéd torture of so many modernists. His solos are intelligent, but accessible, in part because of their tasty blues spicing. Having two of his former mentors from McGill ― Kevin Dean on trumpet and André White on piano ― the leader's game is upped by both their richly nuanced playing and, doubtless, their encouragement. The live set is lively, featuring forceful performances and a cohesive group sound, with limber, attentive drumming by Jesse Cahill and deft bottom-end underpinning by Jodi Proznick. Compositions from Kaldestad, Dean and White, all firmly within the jazz tradition, are uniformly competent, vigorous and workmanlike, but tend to the conventional end of the melodic/harmonic spectrum. The music on Blow-Up is like meeting an old friend for drinks; it just feels good. (Cellar Live)