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Bob Mover soon to publish!

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My Heart Tells Me

Jeff Krow 

(Audiophile Audition)

Bob Mover has been a well-kept secret among the jazz inner circle for way too long. He is an accomplished 61 year old saxophonist, who has released nine records, and performed with such heavy hitters as Chet Baker, Charles Mingus, Jaki Byard, and Lee Konitz. On his latest two CD set on Motema, he also shows he has a warm set of pipes, as he both sings and plays a range of saxophones on a set of strictly solid standards. His vocal range is not wide, yet he brings a mellow soulfulness to such classics as “So Near and Yet So Far,” “Gone With the Wind,” “You’ve Changed,” and the title track, “My Heart Tells Me.”

Backed by a dream rhythm section of Kenny Barron, Bob Cranshaw, and Steve Williams, Mover equates himself well with vocals that bring to mind Milt Hinton. However, it’s his sax playing that demands attention. He can turn on a dime from a warm mainstream timbre to stretching out into brief “open playing.” Barron and Cranshaw are nicely upfront in the mix with Kenny playing (as always) the right comped sparkling phrases, and Bob’s bass, both woody and muscular. The mood ranges from the mellowness of Cole Porter’s “So Near and Yet So Far” to a more assertive throw-down version of another Porter tune, “Get Out of Town.”

Mover shows his mastery on the primary saxophones, with it being a toss-up trying to pick a favorite, with old school mastery meeting post bop freedom. You can see why he fit in with both Baker, Mingus, Konitz, and Byard.

A man for all jazz seasons…

Disc 2 goes in the direction of a bigger horn section band with the addition of Josh Evans on trumpet on all tracks, and Steve Hall providing a tenor mate on three tracks. Disc 2 is nearly all instrumental, and is a mix of five Mover compositions along with Kenny Dorham’s “Fair Weather,” and Mal Waldron’s “Dee’s Dilemma.”

Mover’s bop credentials are on display on the second disc. The addition of Josh Evans on trumpet helps flesh out the mood in a robust direction, like a strong cup of coffee upping the energy and clearly inspiring Mover. “Survival of the Sickest” is a clear indication that free bop and the blues mate well, while “Mugawump” blends Latin with the Caribbean and start/ stop time.

Mover includes a Kenny Dorham composition, “Fair Weather” to honor KD, with whom Mover spent the summer of 1969, along with Wynton Kelly. Dorham had a strong influence on Bob, and Mover states that “Dorham did not live enough for me to really thank him. Putting this song in the world now is my way of trying to do that…”

There is something for everyone on this two CD set. Winning compositions, warm vocals, and brilliant playing from an all-star cast. It’s well past time for Bob Mover to move into the big name spotlight

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It Amazes Me

Ken Dryden,

All Music Guide

Bob Mover has recorded sporadically as a leader since the late 1970s, but this pair of 2006 sessions features him in an ideal setting, playing both alto and tenor saxes, while also adding a few friendly vocals. He is backed by a top-notch rhythm section, including pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Dennis Irwin(who lost his battle with cancer in early 2008), and drummer Steve Williams. On alto sax, Mover is reminiscent of Phil Woods in the swinging treatment of “How Little We Know,” an infrequently performed gem by Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer; he captures the subtlety of “The Underdog” (penned by Al Cohn and Dave Frishberg), while his hushed, deep vocal in “Stairway to the Stars” proves him to be an effective crooner, with superb background by Barron, who is noted for his work with singers. Canadian guitarist Reg Schwager is a guest on several tracks, among them the unusually relaxed setting of “Sometime Ago” and a jaunty rendition of “People Will Say We’re in Love.” Guest tenor saxophonistIgor Butman appears on the sole original, the snappy bop vehicle “Erkin.”

John Barron, All About Jazz

“New York-based saxophonist Bob Mover is arguably one of the jazz world’s best kept secrets. In a career spanning four decades, Mover has shared the stage with the likes of Jaki Byard, Charles Mingus and Chet Baker, yet, for the most part, has flown under the radar of mainstream recognition. It Amazes Me, the saxophonist’s first recording as a leader in over twenty years, is a cozy collection of choice standards performed in a straight-ahead style.

Long-time followers of Mover may be surprised to hear the saxophonist open the disc with his own brand of mellow vocalizing on “How Little We Know.” Although his laid-back singing on six of the ten tracks comes across as lukewarm, there’s plenty of inspired blowing on alto and tenor to satisfy even the most ardent bop fan. The effortless fluidity heard on “I Believe In You,” “Stairway to the Stars” and “People Will Say We’re In Love” shows that Mover can light it up as well as anyone. With the kind of street-wise tone expected from a seasoned veteran, not to mention an inexhaustible amount of melodic ideas, Mover improvises with grace and clarity. Exhibiting an edgy lyricism, especially on ballads like “The Underdog” and “(Tu Mi) Delirio,” one can hear traces of Jackie McLean, Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins in Mover’s infectious wailing.

As far as swinging rhythm sections go, things don’t get much better than veterans like pianist Kenny Barron, the late bassist Dennis Irwin and drummer Steve Williams. The three accompany and solo with a right- on-the-money approach. Canadian guitarist Reg Schwager adds tasteful lines to four tracks and Russian tenor saxophonist Igor Butman gets into a spirited back-and-forth with Mover on the leader’s own composition “Erkin.”

It Amazes Me is a gem of a recording from a first-rate artist deserving of wider recognition.”

It Amazes Me

Will Smith,

Jazz Times

“For reasons not always clear to listeners, some musicians remain under appreciated for years while others with only a modicum of talent have all the career breaks. It Amazes Me, the first leader recording in more than two decades by alto and tenor saxophonist-singer Bob Mover (recorded in 2006), should cause many to ask why. It’s Mover’s playing on both saxes that will have many wondering how this man could so long have been flying under the radar. His world-weary vocals on six of the CD’s 10 tracks won’t attract that much excitement, yet are deeply felt and conveyed, if somewhat of an acquired taste.

With superb support from pianist Kenny Barron, late bassist Dennis Irwin and drummer Steve Williams, plus Canadian guitarist Reg Schwager on four tracks and Russian tenor saxophonist Igor Butman on one, Mover sails through this 67-1/2-minute batch of mostly standard fare, some not all that widely known, with swinging grace and creative fervor in a modern style slightly influenced by all the usual suspects, yet always clearly of his own making, particularly in the way notes cascade from his horns. If one needs guideposts to be pulled into this music, try Mover’s intense tenor work on the second track, “I Believe in You,” or his two-tenor joust with Butman on the lone Mover original, “Erkin,” written for co-producer Erkin Bek. It’s not that his alto is on the back burner, of course, as will be obvious on the opening “How Little We Know” and “Stairway to the Stars.”

Fans already know that Barron doesn’t make bad recordings, even in a support role, so one needn’t go into much detail regarding his work here. Suffice it to say that he’s always there behind Mover with the right stuff, as well as offering beautiful solo moments. Schwager should also be heard more, as his playing on “People Will Say We’re in Love” and “Sometime Ago” will indicate.”

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