Elmo Hope

Homecoming!

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Homecoming! is a particularly high-spirited record for this stage in Hope's troubled career. Following an extended stay in Los Angeles, a number of the day's top players helped welcome a refreshed Hope back to New York on this session. Tenor saxophonists Frank Foster and Jimmy Heath, as well as trumpeter Blue Mitchell, form the front line on the sextet numbers, while on all tracks Hope is joined by the rhythm section of Percy Heath and Philly Joe Jones. Four of the album's (original) seven tracks are sextet performances and the two alternate takes only appear on the Fantasy Original Jazz Classics CD reissue. The Dameron-esque bop numbers sizzle and weave and the tenor work of Frank Foster is especially rewarding on the album's bouncing opener, "Moe, Jr.," take four on the CD. The three ballads are equally fresh and less doom-ridden than comparable performances found elsewhere in his catalog. Expect fine performances by all. This great hard bop record is highly recommended.

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