Greg Abate’s ‘Motif’ is great bebop


Ginny Shea introduced me to Greg Abate’s cool jazz years ago, and I have since accumulated an impressive collection of his CD’s. There’s nothing like grabbing a cup of coffee in the morning, picking up a good book, and listening to Abate in the background.

The Rhode Island treasure has toured the world, always surrounding himself with an “impeccable cadre of musicians,” according to Shea.

Abate teaches at Rhode Island College and plays a number of gigs there and in local venues when he is not flying all over the country and beyond.

His latest CD is titled “Motif,” and it is easy, pleasurable listening. The alto sax is my favorite instrument, and Abate is my favorite player. He is accompanied by Mark Walker on drums, John Lockwood on bass, and Tim Ray on piano.

“Fans of the sax, and alto in particular, will revel in his tone and note choices, as he explores the full ranges of his instrument,” Shea said.

Abate has played in the Ray Charles Orchestra, the Artie Shaw band, and many other jazz greats over the years.

My favorite on this CD is the standard, “All the Things You Are.”

Abate records on the Whaling City Sound out of New Bedford. For more information on his CD’s and those of other great local jazz musicians, check out the expert, Cranston’s own Ginny Shea at


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