Denys Baptiste

Let Freedom Ring!

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Tenor saxophonist Denys Baptiste's four-part suite Let Freedom Ring! pays a musical tribute to the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous "I Have s Dream" speech upon its 40th anniversary. Ben Okri has a few spoken word sections where he reads excerpts from his poem "Mental Fight," the 11-piece band creates some emotional ensembles worthy of Charles Mingus, and Denys Baptiste takes several memorable and sometimes ferocious solos. It all holds together pretty well, building up to a climax of hope for a better day. The message is worthy and, most importantly for the consumer, the music is well played, passionate, and inventive. Recommended.

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