Ronnie Cuber

The Scene is Clean

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When The Scene Is Clean was recorded in 1993, Ronnie Cuber was far from a big name in the jazz world. The baritone saxman had solid credentials that included stints with George Benson in the 1960s and Lee Konitz in the '70s (among many other accomplishments), and yet, he wasn't nearly as well known as he deserved to be. Like other Cuber recordings, The Scene Is Clean wasn't hyped to death but is an excellent hard bop/post-bop date just the same. It's regrettable that Ronnie Cuber isn't a bigger name in jazz, for the baritonist plays with a lot of soul and charisma on Tadd Dameron's "The Scene Is Clean" and the standard "Flamingo" as well as Latin-influenced originals such as "Fajardo," "Mezambo," and "Arroz con Pollo." On the congenial, optimistic "Song for Pharoah," Cuber acknowledges the mellower side of Pharoah Sanders, although the song would have also worked for John Coltrane, Charles Lloyd, McCoy Tyner, or Lonnie Liston Smith. The Scene Is Clean was a welcome addition to Cuber's catalog.

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