Album: Heinz Sauer

The Journey, ACT
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The Independent Culture

This 75th-birthday retrospective for German tenor saxophonist Sauer – whose recent partnership with pianist Michael Wollny has helped focus attention on his powers – is a revelation. Listen to his throaty, on-the-cusp-of-free improvisations on "Round About Midnight", "Lush Life" and "Chelsea Bridge" (with Tomasz Stanko) and feel your jaw hit the floor, for this is as deep and noir as jazz gets. The album opens with bands led by Albert Mangelsdorff and closes with two Wollny duos, including "Nothing Compares" and an unreleased "Variations on Redford".