- Ben Ratliff, New York Times Music Review of Miles Coltrane: 50th Anniversary of 'Kind of Blue' and 'Giant Steps' Concert, Daring to Take a Chisel to Two Monuments of Jazz.
"...And in “Giant Steps” itself, Coltrane’s harmonic — steeplechase — étude, the band took special pains to play with expectations, flickering between a ballad tempo and the tune’s proper fast pace. But all through the set were surprises: solos, duos, four-way collective improvising, bass-clarinet interludes. With disparate phrasing and tone, the saxophonists varied the moods, and where they actually tried to replicate Coltrane’s loud, hard cry, they chose carefully.
That keening almost always came from the fourth saxophonist, George Garzone, who could reproduce it without seeming glib, through a real understanding of Coltrane’s improvising strategies and his own modest gusto. It was good to hear, even better because he offered only a taste of it."
To read the full review on the NY Times website with photos, click
- Down Beat (1/97, p.53) - 4 Stars - (out of 5) on Four's and Two's - "...Part of the fun is contrasting Garzone's and Lovano's approaches to the material, made up largely of Garzone compositions and vehicles for blowing....Listeners who investigate FOUR'S AND TWO'S to hear Lovano will carry away a new or renewed appreciation of Garzone's strengths as well..."
- JazzTimes (2/97, p.122) on Four's and Two's - "This is an aggressive recording....But the aggressive character lies not so much in aggression as in a joyful refusal to let any element of the music stand unchallenged..."
- Mark Corroto,
allaboutjazz.com "In George Garzone's case, Coltrane has never been far afield from his own voice. With his band (of 25 years), The Fringe, he exercised the more free improvisational aspects of Coltrane. As a sideman to Danilo Perez, Joe Lovano, George Russell, Gunther Schuller, Rachel Z, Jack DeJohnette, Billy Hart, and even Jamaaladeen Tacuma I always heard the Coltrane spirit in his playing. Garzone has always possessed an expansive warm tone that moves from inside to out-jazz with relative ease. Like Trane, his music resonates from what must be a warm and beautiful soul."
- Bob Blumenthal, Liner Notes for George Garzone: Alone ."Alone is one of the most non-derivative tribute albums in memory. References exist, the hard drive of "Night and Day" recalls the Getz version with Bill Evans and Elvin Jones, the spring in "Con Alma" echoes the meter Getz and Chick Corea used on the tune, and Garzone found the introductory figure he uses on Moonlight in Vermont on Getz orchestral version with Claus Ogerman. These allusions don't inhibit the music, though, they simply provide the spice, one more ingredient in a recipe where the material and players are strictly gourmet."
- Denai Burbank (Jerry Steinhilber: Chicago Trio/New York Tenor CD Review),
jazzreview.com - "The good thing is that real jazz, old or new, does not "play out". This group is well aware of that fact. Garzone brings polished and emotional interpretations on a majority of the cuts. It is the kind of gut-level honesty that's missing in much of today's music."
- Jim Santella (Abby and Norm Group: Melodic Miner's Daughter CD Review),
allaboutjazz.com - "George Garzone's contributions to the session are special in their apparent ease of movement. While his motion is highly creative and spontaneous, the saxophonist's manner gives one the outward impression that things are consistently smooth and laid-back. All that action taking place in the arena, and yet the scenery seems mellow. It's a perfect mix."
- Dave Liebman - "You know the movie "The Natural?" They named that after George Garzone..."
- Scott Yanow (Alone CD Review) - "George Garzone is a very versatile tenor saxophonist who can play both inside and outside. Garzone's warm tone and unpredictable style (he occasionally hints at going outside) keep this music stimulating."
- David R. Adler (The Fringe in New York CD Review) "With this record, George Garzone again proves that he's a heavy hitter on par with big names of his generation like Joe Lovano and Michael Brecker. Garzone leads off the album with "Tribute to Trane," which hearkens back to Coltrane's Crescent period. Coltrane tributes are no rarity in jazz, but few leap out of the speakers with such authority and purposefulness.This particular tribute to Trane is also a tribute to the Fringe's cohesiveness and well-managed intensity."
- Jonathon Babu, Northeastern Performer Magazine, February 1999 (Miller David Jamrog: Visions CD Review) - "Garzone as always, proves himself a supreme and singular talent. Plenty has been said of his playing, and he distinguishes himself song after song on this record."
- Frank Rubolino, Cadence Magazine, May 1999 (Miller David Jamrog: Visions CD Review) - "Although Jamrog is an ever present force, Garzone on reeds tends naturally to be a focal point. He alternates between soprano and tenor, taking long improvised solos as a matter of course. His tone is fluid and his ideas are original."
- Jason Bivins, Cadence Magazine, January 2003 (Pete Robbins: Centric CD Review) . "While Robbins is a careful, considered player who tugs and pulls at a single idea during his improvisations, Garzone's is a lustier voice who more or less barrels through the composition (though he, too, is a thoughtful player, Garzone unleashes a smoldering line of split tones and smears.[during "Screwguns"]."Reach" isn't quite as distinctive, though Garzone impresses again with his muscle amid the staggered rhythms and cadences."
- Mark F. Turner,
allaboutjazz.com, December 2002 (Pete Robbins: Centric CD Review)
. "George Garzone's powerful and angular tenor lines are a nice contrast to Robbins' throaty, yet smooth voice. Garzone reveals a highly skilled tenor saxophonist who can hold his own among the best."
- Brian Glaser, Philadelphia Citypaper.net . "Garzone is known for fire-breathing playing on his solo dates, on discs with his free-jazz trio The Fringe, and on sessions with other sax fiends like Joe Lovano and Claire Daly."
- The Music Forum (A Tribute to Keith Jarrett CD Review) . "George Garzone's interpretation of "Innocence" reveals his often overlooked improvisational prowess as he romps through Jarrett's changes without chorded accompaniment."