Superblue 2

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To quickly figure out the style of music performed on this CD, all one has to do is note the composers of the songs: Duke Jordan, Horace Silver, Thelonious Monk, Kenny Dorham, Lee Morgan, Elmo Hope, Hank Mobley and Sonny Clark. "Round Midnight" and "Blue Bossa" aside, many of these songs are not exactly performed on an hourly basis, particularly Mobley's "Take Your Pick," Morgan's "Desert Moonlight" and Hope's "Low Tide." Although the relatively young all-stars (trumpeters Don Sickler and Wallace Roney, trombonist Robin Eubanks, altoist Bobby Watson, Ralph Moore on tenor, pianist Renee Rosnes, bassist Bob Hurst and drummer Marvin "Smitty" Smith) all make inventive use of their solo space (an average of three musicians solo on each selection), it is Sickler's transcriptions and arrangements that are the most impressive aspect of the set; many of the performances are reminiscent of their initial obscure recordings. Often the background horn rhythms and harmonies are as interesting as the solos. Recommended to lovers of hard bop.

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