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Today is Tomorrow by Dayna Stephens
Released: Feb 2012
Label: Criss Cross Jazz
This collection -- a Criss Cross label debut from tenor saxophonist Dayna Stephens -- is as crisp as most releases on the imprint, emphasizing as it does standard swing rhythm and harmonies derived from blues and post-bop languages. The album's covers are fine (particularly the guitar on "Black Narcissus"), but its originals are even more striking: The rhythm switches in "Kwooked Stweet," composed by the leader, are as smart as his soloing. This album, unjustly overlooked in 2012, offers useful pushback to the idea that sophisticated writing and bluesy playing need be at odds.
Seth Colter Walls
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