Jonny King

Notes from the Underground

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Jonny King is a talented advanced hard bop player whose playing on this early release finds him performing in a group that recalls the Bobby Hutcherson/Harold Land quintet of the early '70s. King sometimes sounds here like McCoy Tyner or Mulgrew Miller, and he contributed six of the eight numbers -- all but the standard "Mean to Me," which is taken as a tasteful piano-vibes duet, and Herbie Hancock's "Blow Up," with the closing calypso "Las Ramblas" being the most memorable. Steve Nelson's vibes (influenced by Hutcherson) are a key voice both in the ensembles and as a soloist. Joshua Redman is in excellent if conventional form on tenor while showing on the hyperactive "Caffeine" that his soprano playing is coming along. With bassist Peter Washington and drummer Billy Drummond offering solid support, this is a fine modern mainstream date.

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