Ballads All Night

Marcus Printup

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Ballads All Night Review

by Ken Dryden

After a flurry of promising CDs for Blue Note at the beginning of his career, trumpeter Marcus Printup has found a home with the Danish label Steeplechase, which has given him pretty much free rein to hire musicians and choose material for his record dates. This mostly ballad date features a number of less familiar names, including rising young pianist Dan Nimmer, trombonist Chris Crenshaw, and harpist Riza Hequibal, varying the lineup a bit from one track to the next. Printup's tone and his reserved playing style add polish to each of the ballads, whether using open or muted horn. The blend between the leader and Crenshaw works very well in his original "Miles Away." "Blues All Night" showcases bassist Carlos HenrĂ­quez, while Crenshaw's sassy muted solo recalls some of the great trombonists from Duke Ellington's orchestra, and the leader is effective in both open and muted solos, followed by Nimmer's laid-back yet blues-drenched solo. Printup is hardly the first jazz musician to include a harp in a small-group setting, though it is still the exception rather than the rule on jazz record dates. His duets with Hequibal include moving settings of the standard "Emily" and the bossa nova gem "Corcovado" (arranged by Hequibal), while she is present on several of the other tracks as well. This is another potent date by Marcus Printup.