Craig Bailey

A New Journey

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This is a consistently memorable date with some rather special moments. "What Would I Do Without You" has a catchy soulful melody very reminiscent of David Newman's "Hard Times," "Laura" features a beautiful blend between Craig Bailey's flute and violinist Mark Feldman, and "Cherokee" is conventional except that it is played by a trio consisting of altoist Bailey, trumpeter Patrick Rickman, and drummer Bruce Cox. Other numbers on this colorful set (which revitalizes the hard bop tradition through an inventive use of frameworks and instrumental colors) include a driving tribute to Art Blakey, a re-harmonized "Li'l Darlin'," and the blues "No Hip Hop," which alternates between straight-ahead and hip-hop rhythms. Despite the constantly changing personnel (with three different trumpeters and a choice of four pianists), every selection is successful on the highly recommended disc. If only every jazz artist would put as much planning into their studio sessions as Craig Bailey.

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