Richard Oppenheim | Greenhorn in a Red State

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Georgie Padilla Katchie Cartwright Mark Lomanno

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United States - Texas

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Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz Jazz: Soul-Jazz Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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Greenhorn in a Red State

by Richard Oppenheim

A jazz saxophonist, transplanted to San Antonio, offers a tour of the Mission City you won't find in any brochure. Piccolo and congas--along with piano, drums and double bass--in the land of Bob Wills and Doug Sahm? Hey, it's the New World, boychik.
Genre: Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Where Is Baseball?
6:48 $0.99
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2. Texas Three-Lane Sideslip
6:43 $0.99
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3. The (Intermittent) Sidewalks of San Antone
2:02 $0.99
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4. Sunken Kitchens of Terrell Hills
4:48 $0.99
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5. Debutante At the Coronation of the Queen of the Order of the Alamo
3:55 $0.99
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6. Mean Old Bastrop
5:15 $0.99
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7. Boog Powell's Greasy Barbecue Pit (Is Not in San Antonio)
4:13 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
After many years in New York, saxophonist Richard Oppenheim relocated to San Antonio, Texas in 2006 with his wife and longtime musical colleague, Katchie Cartwright. He's thriving there, and yet coming to grips with the notion of "always being an auslander in these parts"--or a Greenhorn in a Red State, to quote the title of Oppenheim's new release for Harriton Carved Wax.

Leading a fine sextet with Cartwright on piccolo, daughter Eleonore Oppenheim on bass, Mark Lomanno on piano, Kevin Hess on drums, and Georgie Padilla on percussion, Oppenheim muses on ideas of belonging and unfamiliarity, of how to call where you are home. The term "greenhorn," he recalls, was his grandmother's description of herself and other immigrants upon arrival at Ellis Island. "It is also a reference to the vivid green patina my Selmer Mark VI has acquired since Katchie and I moved down here," Oppenheim adds.

The vibrant tonal blend of Oppenheim's alto sax and Cartwright's piccolo is what anchors Greenhorn in a Red State, from the opening 5/4 strut of "Where is Baseball?" to the closing slow shuffle of "Boog Powell's Greasy Barbecue Pit (Is Not In San Antonio)." With the baseball reference, Oppenheim, an ardent fan, rues the fact that no one in San Antonio can be bothered with the sport.

There's almost a Latin block-party flavor, very much a taste of New York, in this band's front line, and in Padilla's roiling congas on numerous tracks. Echoes of boogaloo, funk and rock come through on cuts like "Mean Old Bastrop" and "Sunken Kitchens of Terrell Hills," highlighting the tight and inventive rhythm section.

Along with the group's loose, improvisatory feeling, there's a strong element of counterpoint and rhythmic precision. The shifts in mood, too, can be dramatic: "Debutante at the Coronation of the Queen of the Order of the Alamo" (an actual thing in San Antonio) proceeds as a pair of ethereal duets, first for alto sax and pizzicato bass, then bowed bass and piano. These moments and many others on Greenhorn in a Red State reflect the broad range and eclecticism of Oppenheim's achievements in music, as a sideman and a leader.

Born in Chicago in 1953, Oppenheim has played alto saxophone since age 13. Following his studies at Indiana University, he gained experience playing with the likes of Marvin Gaye, Charles Mingus and Lonnie Brooks. On relocating to New York in 1976 he recorded with Ray Anderson, Chuck Loeb, Bern Nix, Bill Goodwin and many more. From the late '70s through '80s he performed with Lionel Hampton, Clifford Jordan, Otis Rush, Mick Ronson, Ian Hunter, Foghat, Johnny Winter, Buddy Rich, Bernard Purdie, Jaki Byard, David Johanssen and Illinois Jacquet.

With Greenhorn in a Red State, Oppenheim takes another important and uniquely personal step in his musical journey.


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