Bill Cunliffe

Bill Cunliffe Sextet: Live at Rocco

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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow

Los Angeles-based Bill Cunliffe has long had a strong reputation for his fine piano solos. This CD features him as a bandleader, arranger, and composer too. Cunliffe heads a top-notch sextet/septet also featuring trumpeter Clay Jenkins, Chuck Manning on tenor, trombonist Alex Iles, bassist Jeff D'Angelo, drummer Joe LaBarbera, and guest flutist Holly Hofmann. The band performs Thad Jones' "Ain't Nothin' Nu," Thelonious Monk's "Crepuscule With Nellie," and six Cunliffe originals. The music is advanced hard bop (or post-bop), the arrangements are just unpredictable enough to keep one guessing, and the solos are consistently rewarding. Bill Cunliffe has recorded one rewarding CD after another since the mid-'90s. This disc continues the trend.

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