Where could tenor saxophonist and proclaimed young lion go after being anointed by Miles Davis in the late-eighties? Down, you say? Maybe. Rick Margitza did the three-and-out record deal with Blue Note and since has been spotted as a sideman on mostly small labels. Far too many young musicians have repeated this talented composer and musician’s story these days. The BIG record companies pluck a developing talent and ask him/her to lead a band. Careers, like Margitza’s have worked somewhat backwards. He should have honed his skills as a sideman on the same small labels, before being asked to sell hundreds of thousands (even millions) of CDs.
He is making a comeback. In the middle 1990s he record two solid albums for the Dutch label Challenge Records. This domestic date is a strong outing and should garner deserved recognition. Margitza was tagged early in his career as a descendant of Wayne Shorter. While his sound remains strongly linked to that of Mr. Shorter, he also has a strong connection to John Klemmer. Margitza favors lyrical lines over bebop licks. In other words, he is a romantic saxophonist. Pianist Joey Calderazzo, a long time collaborator is a perfect foil for the saxophonists moody sound. He mainly stays in the background, lurking, occasionally probing and summoning additional emotion. Two tracks stand out. “Father John,” a Coltrane Quartet influence composition and “Some Of The Things I Am” a twist on “Some Of The Things You Are.” Here, Margitza overdubs his saxophone to create a duet much like the Lee Konitz/Warne Marsh takes on Lennie Tristano. I’d be wrong to say Margitza has arrived. The corrected expression is that he’s back.
Track List:You Must Believe in Spring; 14 Bar Blues; Heart Of Hearts; Provence; You’re Everything; Dexter’s Tune; The Four Sleepers; With Ever Breath I Take; Father John; Some Of The Things I Am.