If this CD for saxophonist/composer Paul Van Ross has slipped under your radar, prepare for a treat. On more than half of these all-original compositions, the works of such Blue Note stalwarts as Wayne Shorter, Hank Mobley and Junior Cook shine a mighty light on the path trod by this much younger generation of Australian musicians. No slavish copyist, Paul uses their inspiration to find his own way forward. He has taken the best of yesterday and then given us a satisfying peek into the future. Just as the Blue Note tenors always surrounded themselves with first-rate talent, Paul finds himself here in good Melbourne company. Guitarist Stephen Magnusson is a sought-after creator of fresh and stimulating lines of melodic development. Whitney Balliett could have been writing about Stephen when he described jazz as "...the sound of surprise." Magnusson never resorts to clichés, and that's his strength. On the Hammond B-3, Kim Kelaart drops the odd reference to the master, Jimmy Smith, without trying to be a sound-alike. He reminds us just how much we miss those monthly new sax&guitar&B-3 releases of yore. Drummer Mark Lockett is a powerhouse of rhythm that compliments the melody-players rather than competing with them. In that respect, Mark is tipping his cap towards Blue Note greats like Philly Joe Jones and Art Taylor, who saw their job as making the whole ensemble sound good, never dominating the action. Subjectively, some CD highlights: Blues For The Now features masterful interplay between Paul and Stephen; Possum Strut is a frisky, clever and highly original Australian composition that has standard written all over it; Three and More exposes us to Paul's fine (and mercifully in-tune) soprano playing in a very contemporary mood; title track Get Sorted offers an insistent and tense theme which would work to perfection as the score for a movie thriller; Skin Thing is soulful plus, a loving throwback in spirit to the 'Wes Montgomery meets a great sax player' releases of the '60s; and Tango For 'H' is the real thing, a delightful Buenos Aires-style interlude amongst all the soul.\\ Let's hope this quartet gets another album sorted soon.
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