Dr. Midnight SABRETOOTH Delmark DE 579
Cameron Pfiffner (ts/ss/fl/pic); Pat Mallinger (ts/as/fl); Pete Benson (org); Ted Sirota (dms) – “The Green Mill”; Chicago, IL – 23 June, 2007.
Blues for C Piff/It’s Surely Gonna Flop if it Ain’t Got that Bop/Mary Anne/Tetemetearri/Dr. Midnight/Odd Couple/China Cat Sunflower TT 66:00.
Some things never die – B3 w. sax combos; two tenor combos; long residency combos… the real thing at the coal-face, not some fancy academic thing or concert setting, but jazz how and where it ought to be! With the doubling that goes on, I am reminded of the sainted Rahsaan, but this IS two guys!! A band in the truest sense of the word after fifteen years of the club’s Sat-to-Sun After Hours Jazz Party, they play for those who truly want to let down their proverbial hair… and it shows on this fine-sounding location recording. I once described a band as “tighter than a crab’s ass… and that’s waterproof.” One could use the same descriptive for this one as well.
Four originals “in the tradition”, one film theme song, a “calypso” standard (shades of past Black NYC area gigs I have attended where at least one was mandatory, or a Sonny Rollins show), plus a Grateful Dead tune make up a varied program that shows off the copious talents in this quartet. Nothing earth-shattering herein, just good ‘uns who are PLAYING for the sake of it for an appreciative audience. As Val Wilmer once wrote, it’s “as serious as your life”, but, boy are they having fun! So will you as you bob around in your seat at home. If I make it to Chi-town again before I die, I’d like to go to The Green Mill for one of their late sets… have to get plenty of sleep in anticipation, though… don’t have the stamina I once had.
[Now will someone PLEASE go to Cleveland and record Eddie Baccus, “the Art Tatum of jazz organ”, before it’s too late!]
Peter B. Lowry
Published: IAJRC Journal, v71,#3 – Aug 2008, p.86]