James Spaulding

Blues Nexus

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Veteran alto saxophonist James Spaulding's fourth Muse release is a celebration of the musical form known as the blues, as he and tenor saxophonist Dan Faulk, pianist Ronnie Matthews, bassist Ray Drummond, and drummer Louis Hayes perform ten jazz classics. Spaulding divides his playing equally between alto sax and flute, but it is his spirited alto sax that is always distinctive, while Hayes' driving cymbal beat and snare drum accents are always a joy to hear. Favorites include Hank Mobley's "Hipsippy Blues" and "Soul Station," both medium shuffles, the former made famous by Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, Clifford Brown's "Gerkin for Perkin" and Elmo Hope's "Vaun-Ex," both bop-oriented blues, and Tina Brooks' exotic "Gypsy Blue," where Spaulding is featured on flute. A fine addition to the growing Spaulding discography.

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