Patrice Rushen

Prelusion/Before the Dawn

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This 1998 CD reissues keyboardist Patrice Rushen's first two recordings as a leader except for one selection ("Puttered Bopcorn") from the first date that was left out due to lack of space. Twenty at the time of the earlier set, Rushen showed a great deal of potential for the future, potential that (at least in the jazz world) was unfortunately never realized. Rushen is heard on the Prelusion album heading a septet that includes tenor-saxophonist Joe Henderson (the most memorable soloist), trumpeter Oscar Brashear, trombonist George Bohanon and Hadley Caliman on reeds; the music is essentially advanced hard bop with touches of fusion. The later date has a similar group (without Henderson) and with guest spots for flutist Hubert Laws and guitarist Lee Ritenour. The R&B-ish vocal by Josie James on "What's the Story" hints at where Rushen would be going in the future: straight to the pop market. So overall this CD, which should have served as a bright beginning for the young keyboardist, is practically the artistic high point of Patrice Rushen's erratic career.

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