Gerald Beckett

Traveling West

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Gerald Beckett's second CD as a leader finds the flutist delving into hard bop and post-bop, with a band including fl├╝gelhornist Graham Bruce, tenor saxophonist Will Jhun, pianist Adam Shulman, bassist Taylor Cutcomb, and drummer Niels Myner making up his core band. Bruce's fresh arrangement of Lee Morgan's infrequently performed "Mr. Kenyatta" takes on a new perspective by his overdubbing of flute and alto flute, along with Myner's adding congas. Ron Carter's "Little Waltz" features Beckett with the rhythm section in a gorgeous arrangement of this delicate ballad. "Once Forgotten" substitutes harmonica player Damien Masterson in the place of the fl├╝gelhorn and tenor sax, as the leader's dancing flute soars over this upbeat ballad with a Latin groove. Masterson is also on hand for a haunting treatment of Jimmy Rowles' best-known composition, "The Peacocks," serving almost as a comic foil to Beckett's magical flute, somewhat like a myna bird mocking the beauty of the larger bird's elegant plumage. Beckett also contributed some original works, including the lush "Cool Breeze" (a collaboration with Bruce) and the light, funky closer "2020 Groove Street." This excellent sophomore date as a leader makes Gerald Beckett a talent worthy of wider recognition in the jazz community.

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