Wayne Escoffery: Like Minds
British born and Connecticut raised Saxaphonist Wayne Escoffery's latest record as band leader is out on Smoke Sessions Records, called Like Minds. Since roughly 2000, Escoffery has played with a whose who of modern straight-ahead players, and continues his parallel status playing tenor sax in the Mingus Big Band. On Like Minds he's joined by his core quartet of Dave Kikoski on piano, Ugonna Okegwo on bass and newcomer Mark Whitfield, Jr. on drums standing in for his longtime drummer Ralph Peterson who passed away in 2021. He's also joined by Tom Harrell and Mike Moreno, and even Gregory Porter, who sings on two songs. I particularly enjoy his compact yet groove filled take on Nostalgia In Times Square, a tune that he has played many times in the big band setting but here it's more evocative of the glory days of CTI Records, with Keyboardist Kikosky taking charge of the Fender Rhodes keyboard. You can hear Wayne Escoffery on Mainstream and Modern on Sundays at 8pm on WCLK and at various times throughout the week on Atlanta's Jazz Station. You can find out more about Escoffery by clicking here.