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Thursday August 21, 2014
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Tim Haldeman

 

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utilize their imposing mansion for fraternal socializing with a soul food kitchen, dances, and musical performances throughout the week. One Friday regular is tenor saxophonist Tim Haldeman, who fills the downstairs rooms when he plays there with classic modern jazz in the company of a rotating assortment of bassists and drummers.

In person Haldeman seems playfully reserved, but from the moment he takes up his horn the extrovert takes over. The first thing you feel is the power of his sound; the low-ceilinged room reverberates with the rich, round presence of the tenor saxophone. The piano-less trio format immediately recalls vintage Sonny Rollins--who, Haldeman readily admits, is the master who inspires him. From Rollins he learned the value of constantly shifting the articulation of musical lines, the importance of repeating melodic elements in an ever-changing manner, and the significance of a strong rhythmic drive. His broad sound often has a lovely singsong quality at the top, which recalls a less well known but equally noteworthy sax player: Clifford Jordan, another acknowledged Haldeman favorite. But Haldeman has developed a strong style all his own, informed by a prodigious instrumental technique, a rich sense of melodic development, and a deep knowledge of modern harmony. He also seems to have a seemingly endless knowledge of modern jazz repertoire, moving from one tune to another without hesitation. At the Elks he sticks to the better-known tunes often associated with Rollins, and one recent night he notched up the excitement in a classic two-tenor engagement with his friend, the impressive Dave Sayers.

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