Tardo Hammer / John Marshall

Bopera House

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The Bopera House, an outgrowth of the Metropolitan Bopera House, on this 1988 CD features trumpeter John Marshall, tenor-saxophonist Ralph Lalama, pianist Tardo Hammer, bassist John Webber and drummer Tom Melito. The music is essentially hard bop, whether it be one of Marshall's four originals, Webber's "So Young" or the six jazz standards (which include Fats Navarro's "Wailing Wall," Duke Pearson's "Is That So" and Charlie Parker's "Sippin' at Bells"). Although no one on this CD (except perhaps Ralph Lalama) is close to being a household name, they are all talented players who are skilled improvisers within the hard bop tradition. So, despite the lack of name recognition, this CD is easily recommended to straightahead jazz fans.

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