Tom Harrell

Art of Rhythm

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Best known as a superior and advanced cool-toned trumpeter, Tom Harrell shows throughout this consistently brilliant set that he has also developed into an excellent composer and a particularly talented arranger. All ten songs and arrangements are his, and the music both swings and is quite original. Harrell doubles on fl├╝gelhorn and utilizes a wide variety of interesting musicians, including clarinetist Greg Tardy (who plays beautifully on the opening "Petals Danse"), acoustic guitarist Romero Lumbambo (heard on the more Brazilian-oriented numbers), the great free bop tenor Dewey Redman, pianist Danilo Perez, electric guitarist Mike Stern, tenorman David Sanchez, and several strings (including Regina Carter) among others. Each selection stands out, and although none of the original melodies are probably destined to become standards, the episodic arrangements are quite colorful. As for the leader, he gets in strong solos of his own, although Harrell tends to keep them concise and purposeful. Overall, this is Tom Harrell's most significant release as a leader to date and arguably one of the finest jazz records released in 1998.

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