"The leader's tenor moves through many different emotions, reminding me a bit of John Coltrane... Haslanger's compositions have strong frameworks - even a blowing track like ‘Two Tone’ has a good chordal sense, giving the soloists a smart springboard for theis excursions. Ellis Marsalis takes the chair on ‘Eugene and Marie’. His relaxed playing on the track brings out the Paul Desmond in Haslanger, with melody lines that curl around the loping bass lines and swishing cymbals. Papa Marsalis is a two-fisted pianist, building his solo around a cluster of bluesy chords. His appearance on Duke Ellington's ‘Just Squeeze Me’ is marked by more ‘easy’ piano - nothing is rushed, his chordal work is intelligent and his solo is a classy blend of dancing single-note runs and ringing chords. Here, Haslanger comes on like Ben Webster, with breathy tones. There is plenty to like on ‘Kicks are for Kids’: the interplay, the stong solos, the melodies, and more. Elias Haslanger is reaching for his own sound, building upon classic Jazz players, but not abandoning the blues sensibility. As his composing skills continue to mature, I know that we'll be hearing great music from this young Texan. In the meantime, I recommend this disc.” -– Richard B. Kamins, Cadence Magazine

"Haslanger and his group have matured considerably as players in the past two years since their last recorded outing. They demonstrate a confidence, intuitive cohesion, and inate feeling for the muisc that comes directly from having performed live together consistently in local clubs for the past several years. They sound unmistakenly like a seasoned band rather than a soloist and his trio. Save for a beautiful reading of an Ellington evergreen, ‘Just Squeeze Me’, this (Kicks are for Kids) is an entire set of Haslanger's originals, from the soulful groove of the title track to the apparently impromptu exploration of ‘Free For Three’. Trumpeter Tito Carrillo and New Orleans patriarch Ellis Marsalis contribute along the way, but this is primarily about the Elias Haslanger Quartet and how it has developed into a potently swingin', first rate ensemble". **** (four stars) -– Jay Trachtenberg, Austin Chronicle



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