By Ron Wynn

NASHVILLE, TN — A favorite of Middle Tennessee and Music City jazz fans returns to Rudy’s Friday night.  Saxophonist and bass clarinetist Don Aliquo is both an outstanding soloist and busy bandleader, as well as an in-demand educator. He’s currently a fulltime professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies at Middle Tennessee State University and a Selmer and Vandoren artist in terms of instrumentation and products. He’s released six albums over the years, and also contributed to several others as a sideman. But this week he’s be leading a quartet whose personnel includes pianist Jody Nardone, bassist John Birdsong and drummer Ryan Brassley.

Some of his finest releases include “Sun and Shield,” which matched him with Rufus Reid, Jim McNeely and Obed Calvaire, and his latest and finest release “Growth,” which represents a fresh direction. Not only does it spotlight his strong playing, but it’s the first one that has featured his compositions. The eight pieces range from mainstream to more outside and experimental. They are also a reflection of his varied and extensive experience in multiple situatons.

Aliquo has also done a duo session with pianist Michael Stevens, and quartet recordings with Roger Humphries and the late Beegie Adair. He also has recorded with his mentor, notable Pittsburgh tenor stalwart, Don Aliquo Sr. on the MCG label. Additional concerts and recordings have featured Aliquo with such artists as Gary Burton, Greg Osby, Rufus Reid, Roger Humphries, Harold Danko, Adam Nussbaum, Donald Brown, Pete Christlieb, Scott Robinson, and Bobby Shew. Yet another recent cd release (The Innocence of Spring) was recorded live with pianist Michael Jefry Stevens at Hinton Hall on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University. His set begins at 8 p.m..

The Don Aliquo Quartet at Rudy’s Jazz Room, 809 Gleaves Street, Nashville. The music gets underway at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 either in advance or at the door.