Jamaaladeen Tacuma

Renaissance Man

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Jamaaladeen Tacuma's second free funk effort for Gramavision is almost the equal of his first (Show Stopper). Once again the first four songs feature his regular band (a quintet with guitarist Rick Iannacone and altoist James Watkins) while the second half of the program showcases his electric bass in diverse groups. "Dancing in Your Head" has some of the members of Ornette Coleman's Prime Time (including the innovative altoist); Tacuma often played with Ornette during this period. The lengthy "The Battle of Images" features Tacuma with the Ebony String Quartet and a percussionist, "There He Stood" has the leader joined by percussionists and a poet. Best is "Sparkle," a jam with tenor saxophonist David Murray and guitarist Vernon Reid. Alththugh a bit of a mixed bag, this set should appeal to listeners open to both the avant-garde and eccentric funk.

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