It's been nearly a decade since jazz pianist Marc Sabatella released an album as a leader. The guy's had a lot going on since then: In the liner notes, he writes about how he began working with vocalist Wendy Fopeano, whom he eventually married, how he earned a Master of Music degree at the University of Denver, served as the house pianist at El Chapultepec and spent considerable time developing as an accompanist and interpreter of song. On Determination, it's obvious that he's grown tremendously as a musician. On cuts like "Monk's Got Rhythm," which is based on Thelonious Monk's "Well You Needn't," and "Spherical Minute," which also nods to Monk, he shows off some outstanding piano chops. With help from tenor saxophonist Keith Oxman, Sabatella's notable Determination pays off.
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