Marcus Roberts

As Serenity Approaches

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Every one of pianist Marcus Roberts's recordings thus far are recommended. This outing has 11 impressive solo performances and eight duets with trumpeters Scotty Barnhart, Nicholas Payton and Wynton Marsalis (the latter on a fun version of Jelly Roll Morton's "King Porter Stomp"), Todd Williams on clarinet and tenor and trombonist Ronald Westray in addition to two meetings with fellow pianist Ellis Marsalis. This music finds Roberts using techniques of the past (especially stride and old-time breaks) in both his new originals and revivals of classic tunes. However he never resorts to mere copying and feels free to update elements of the music or to throw in eccentric ideas. There is a great deal for listeners to investigate on this thoroughly fascinating recital.

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