Review | George Fendel

Doc Stewart
George Fendel

George Fendel

Chris “Doc” Stewart’s “other job” finds him in the Mayo Clinic as an ER physician. But don’t worry. This is distinctly not one of those, “I think I’ll make a record” vanity things. Instead, Stewart is an accomplished alto player in the lineage of Cannonball Adderley and other soulful cats such as Sonny Criss or Ike Quebec. For this impressive session, he got some respected Los Angeles players into the studio for a stirring big band session with a soulful emphasis. Stewart’s “Code Blue Suite,” a four-part endeavor, gets things started. It is followed by additional works by the likes of Bobby Timmons, Charles Lloyd, Hal Galper and Cannonball himself, among others. A couple of standards, ”Poor Butterfly” and “The Way You Look Tonight,” also work very well. Finally, there’s an album highlight in Oscar Pettiford’s “Bohemia After Dark.” Arrangements are from another big band dude, Tom Kubis, and from the pianist on the date, Matt Catingub. Try your best to avoid Stewart’s ER services. His alto saxophone is where you want to be.

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