Duke Pearson

It Could Only Happen with You

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On It Could Only Happen With You, his final album for Blue Note, Duke Pearson followed the conventions of the time and cut a smooth, commercially-oriented jazz album that made allusions to traditional and contemporary pop, hard bop, soul-jazz and bossa nova. The results are a bit muddled, but the album is more coherent than its predecessor, How Insensitive, even with its flaws. Pearson's playing remains tasteful, but he tends to get lost among the guitars, flutes, trumpets, trombones, bass, and Flora Purim's vocals. Although the record is a pleasant artifact of its time, it's a rather sad, undistinguished way to close out Pearson's career.

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