Leon Williams

Joint Venture

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Tenor-saxophonist Leon Williams displays an interesting combination of styles on this CD, with ideas influenced by Sonny Stitt and (to a lesser extent) Dexter Gordon along with a tone that recalls Von Freeman a bit. He is the main voice throughout the quartet session although co-leader/guitarist Dave Prieto has an attractive chordal style; bassist Vince Williams and drummer Calvin Parker are fine in support. With the exception of Wes Montgomery's somewhat obscure "So Do It," the group sticks to originals by either Williams or Prieto. It does take a little while to get used to Williams's forceful tone and there are some renditions that would have been improved if the quartet had played them one more time (to their credit the musicians did not edit out their occasional mistakes), but in general this modern bop debut is worth investigating.

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