Justin Varnes is reviewed by Jazzweekly with his new album Survival Instinct-The Evilution of the Pack

JAZZWEEKLY

Justin Varnes: Survival Instinct-The Evilution of the Pack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drummer Justin Varnes puts his pen together with his drumsticks as he teams up a modern hard bopping team through a collection of his clever originals. The front line of saxists John Sandfort and Luke Weathington with trumpeter Mark Rapp create a rich texture, giving some rich unison lines on the modal “Fergimore Island, TX Blues” and bopping with muscles flexed on the concise “Pulse”. Rapp solos through the serene reads of “Emanuel” and bassist Kevin Smith gets featured on the spartan “Red Mouse Blue Mouse”. Pianist Nick Rosen teams with Smith for a rich Mingusy feel on the swaying “Thread (For Bryan Stow” with some warm tenor work by Sandfort on “Many Sons” and bright alto by Weathington as Varnes drives up the amps on “Tout Le Monde La France”. Rich horn harmonies coaxed along by the encouraging drive of the leader.

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