by Scott Yanow
Tenor and soprano-saxophonist Andrew Rathbun on Where We Are Now explores postbop jazz, which is music that falls into the large area of being more advanced than hard bop but not quite as free as avant-garde jazz. Rathbun, whose soprano sound (but not his notes) recalls Wayne Shorter, is particularly original as a tenor-saxophonist and a composer. He is joined by guitarist Nate Radley, pianist George Colligan, bassist Johannes Weidenmuller and veteran drummer Billy Hart. Unfortunately the liner notes say little about Rathbun’s nine originals so one has no clue what the background is for the four-part “Son Suite.” However the music does not require any explanation since the playing is at a very high level, Rathbun, Radley and Colligan perform concise and meaningful solos, the ensembles are clean and this is an example of modern mainstream jazz of the early 21st century.