Tom Varner: Martian Heartache (Soul Note 121286)

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Varner: Martian Heartache coverTopping even Tom Varner's previous album, the critically lauded The Mystery of Compassion (Soul Note 121217), this quintet-plus-guests date runs an impressive stylistic gamut, from rollicking recontextualizations of bebop standards to free blowing, from funky grooves to misterioso tone poems taking advantage of the lush harmonies of Varner and the two saxophonists. 

Varner is already the greatest French horn jazz stylist of his generation, exhibiting a practically trombonistic tonal agility;  he is fast becoming one of our era's most rich and provocative compositional voices.  There is really something for everyone here, and for those who think they heard it all, there's even more.

[Read interview with Tom Varner about Martian Heartache.]

Tom Varner, French horn;  Ed Jackson, alto saxophone;  Ellery Eskelin, tenor saxophone; Drew Gress, bass;  Tom Rainey, drums;  *Pete McCann, guitar; **Dominique Eade, voice.

To hear any track in Real Audio, click on its title...

  1. Nuke 'Em, Tony (3:00)
  2. Keep It Up (7:45)*
  3. Martian Affirmation (6:04)
  4. Venus with a Syringe (3:42)
  5. Precarious Dog (0:54)*
  6. Isaac Has a Vision on the Subway (6:14)
  7. The Quick and the Dead (4:37)
  8. Send Me a Probe (0:49)
  9. Tough Luck (5:42)
  10. Betsy Says Yes (1:17)
  11. Eva Etc. (10:05)*
  12. Anxiety All the Time (0:36)
  13. Learn Something! (5:30)
  14. Small Cry Big Laugh (11:06)
  15. Lady Gay (3:22)**

All compositions by Tom Varner (Tom Varner Music, BMI), except "Lady Gay" (Traditional, arrangement by Tom Varner).

Recorded 5-6 March 1996 at Tedesco Studios, Paramus, New Jersey.  
Engineer: Jon Rosenberg

Producer: Tom Varner
Executive producer: Flavio Bonandrini

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