French-born, Brooklyn-dwelling saxophonist Jerome Sabbagh played New York’s Jazz Gallery on Saturday, June 14, with a quartet featuring guitarist Ben Monder, bassist Joe Martin, and drummer Jochen Rueckert. (Monder and Martin have been members of Sabbagh’s band for a decade; longtime drummer Ted Poor lives in Seattle nowadays and couldn’t make the gig.) The group has two albums to its name, 2004’s North and 2007’s Pogo, the former on Fresh Sound New Talent and the latter a co-release between Bee Jazz (in Europe) and Sunnyside (in the US). Their third disc, The Turn, will be released by Bee Jazz and Sunnyside in September. Sabbagh has several other albums, most notably 2012’s Plugged In (reviewed here) and 2010’s I Will Follow You with Monder and drummer Daniel Humair (reviewed here). No matter the context, he’s always a patient, melodic player whose solos always have a discipline and an inner logic few his age can claim. And while he’s always willing to take his time letting his pieces unfold, they’re never boring.

Here’s video of “The Turn,” the opening number from their first set at the Jazz Gallery.

Phil Freeman

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