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CD076: Anyone who follows Chicago jazz recognizes Jim Gailloreto among a younger generation of tenor proselytizers, his beefy tone and freewheeling solos indebted to Chicago's "tough tenor" tradition in general, Freeman's model in particular. Yet on "Shadow Puppets" (Naim), Gailloreto leads his Split Decision band in some of the most uncharacteristic music of his career, essentially subverting just about everything listeners have come to expect from him. From the open spaces and ethereal gestures of the opening track, "Other White Meat" to the mystical, Eastern contemplations of "So Sari," Gailloreto clearly revels in confounding expectations. That he engaged virtuoso pianist Laurence Hobgood to play an electric Rhodes piano - and to offer minimalist, atmospheric statements on it - underscores the point. The music may not be quite as thrilling as Gailloreto's full-throated statements in concert and on previous recorded work, but there's enough sly understatement on tunes such as "Cheshire Cat" and "End of the Line" to make this disc required listening for Gailloreto devotees. Finally, his profoundly introspective deconstruction of Billy Strayhorn's "A Flower is a Lovesome Thing" brings new meaning to every note of an already ineffably expressive melody. Howard Reich, Tribune Arts Critic August 2004