Bill Stewart

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Drummer Bill Stewart, formerly with John Scofield, composed all nine selections on his Blue Note disc. Rhythmically they are generally quite tricky with "Fred and Ginger" in 5/4 time and "7.5" not named after an earthquake but the fact that each chorus is 72 bars long (or in 30/4 time). The weak point to this music is that Stewart, though expert at setting moods (which range from hyper to melancholy), is not a gifted melodist; certainly none of the themes on this set could be considered memorable. However it is the strong musicianship and solowork (particularly by the great tenor Joe Lovano and trumpeter Eddie Henderson) that make this a worthy set. Stewart's quirky modern mainstream structures really challenge the players and they prove up to the task.

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