This reissue of a 1989 performance culled from two shows is a great jazz album, nothing more and nothing less. Although the sound quality suffers at times because of the ‘80s technology—which results in Petersen’s sax sounding a bit lost in the mix—the songs speak for themselves. The intricate “Probably” shifts gears throughout. Then, supported by a seasoned cast, Petersen slows things down with the gentle, tender and airy title track, “Upward Spiral”, which has the same desired effects as the first cut. When Petersen is at his best—as is the case with the lengthy, Miles-tinted “Objects in the Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear”—the music is pure magic. Petersen, who was asked by Ellis Marsalis to teach jazz in New Orleans, is also strong during “Onus B” while drummer Jeff Stitely provides pleasing fills and rolls. Another charmer is the stylish and soothing “Dan’s Idea”. No idea who Dan is, but ‘tis a good musical idea he came up with.
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// Notes from the Road
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