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5.0 out of 5 stars THE TOM HARRELL QUINTET'S COMPELLING JAZZ, 14 July 2013
RBSProds "rbsprods" (Deep in the heart of Texas) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Number Five (Audio CD)
Five ENJOYABLE Stars!! Exceptionally-talented musicians in a superb jazz quintet led by award-winning composer/arranger/trumpet legend Tom Harrell. This is one of the year's best jazz recordings from the long-running group which is as tight as they come, featuring co-producer Wayne Escoffery on reeds, Danny Grissett on keyboards, Ugonna Okegwo on bass and Johnathan Blake on drums. Varying the musical fare considerably on their fifth group recording, Harrell has added some marvelous lineup 'change ups' to the mix to spotlight the participant's talents, while giving a ton of solo space to everyone. The quintet 'post-bops' it with the unison-headed theme and solos of the hot-cool "GT" (with awesome Grissett, Okegwo, and Blake solos), and the sizzling "Melody in B-Flat" (fiery Blake solo). "Preludium" has a stark, obtuse beauty that develops patiently. This time around it's also wonderfully rewarding to hear Harrell play unaccompanied, highly-inventive flugelhorn on the de Paul/Rae jazz standard "Star Eyes" and on the gorgeous rendition of Tadd Dameron's "A Blue Time". Harrell forms an unaccompanied duo with drummer Johnathan Blake on a blazing version of Dizzy Gillespie's "Blue 'n' Boogie" and then another fruitful 'duo-only' with Danny Grissett on the soaring "Journey to the Stars" over an insistently developing vamp. The wistful "Right as Rain" is a beautifully arranged and played ballad. And perhaps best of all, "No. 5" with brilliant solos from all hands, especially Harrell, Escoffery, and Blake's 'boiler-works' in-tempo drum solo. This is marvelous jazz from Mr Harrell and company and gets my Highest Recommendation. Five SWINGING Stars! (11 tracks, Time: 61m7s)
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Number Five
Number Five by Tom Harrell (Audio CD - 2012)
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