Barrett Deems

Groovin' Hard

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Although 85 at the time of this recording (his final one), drummer Barrett Deems is in excellent form on this CD, driving his Chicago big band. None of the sidemen in his 17-piece ensemble are well-known, but they are excellent musicians who really dig into the material. The style is modern mainstream (more hard bop than swing), with the highlights including "Groovin' Hard," "Cute," "The Song Is You," and "Moten Swing." A recommended acquisition for modern big band fans.

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