Cedar Walton

Second Set

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Eclectic but solidly grounded post-bop pianist Cedar Walton leads his strong quartet through a varied second set of the evening showcasing his fine players as they settle in and groove.The first set of this 1977 live recording from Copenhagen's Club Montmartre was issued separately.

A richly and interestingly textured arrangement of John Coltrane's "Blue Trane" opens SECOND SET. Walton launches into his solo, doubling Sam Jones' Horace Silver-flavored Latin bassline. Walton's playing is expansive and conceptually tight, superimposing an easy blues swing over the groove. A lovely, medium-tempo version of Richard Rodgers "I Didn't Know What Time it Was" follows. Cedar's touch is incisive without being unpleasant. While the understated rhythm section work by Jones and Billy Higgins is also fine, the young Bob Berg, perhaps too influenced by Michael Brecker's pentatonic approach, doesn't quite catch the mood of the tune. SECOND SET ends with the multi-sectioned "Sunday Suite," a Walton original. Higgins injects spaces and sonic beauty into his intelligently crafted solo, getting finely sculpted sounds out of his drums and cymbals.

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