Abate to bring bebop back to the Hill

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By Kelly LeVan

He seems to like us and we definitely like him.

Greg Abate (pronounced “Ah-bot-tay”) has been to the Hill a number of times, drawing enthusiast jazz fans from all over the mesas. He returns at 7 p.m. Friday at the intersection of Central Avenue and Main Street, under the auspices of the Los Alamos County Summer Concert Series.

“He’s really excellent,” said Russ Gordon, producer of the show. “He’s from the school where you rear back and blow and every once in a while throw some pretty slice in there. He blows his heart out – like a rock’n’roller. He’ll go off on these bebop jazz riffs and into these gorgeous melodies. It really affects me.”

It’s not just Gordon, either. Abate affects a lot of people.

“Greg Abate is one of the most appealing saxophonists on the scene today,” said Jim Merod, New Jazz Recording. “He is mature with an abundance of gentle self-confidence. The result is that he plays music with sweetness and daring.”

The saxophonist, flutist and composer’s career first took off in the mid-1970s, after he graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston, when he got a job playing lead alto for the Ray Charles Orchestra.

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