Ebony Brass Quintet

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The Ebony Brass Quintet -- an ensemble consisting of two trumpets, trombone, French horn, and tuba -- can be considered a cross between the World Saxophone Quartet and Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy, although it is a bit more conservative than those two ensembles. Its repertoire is wide-ranging and, as with Brass Fantasy, pop and R&B tunes are not overlooked. In addition, the Ebony Brass Quintet's ability to swing without a rhythm section makes it at times seem like a brass equivalent of the WSQ. Baritonist Hamiet Bluiett makes a guest appearance on the freely improvised "Ballad From a Dying Planet," while Bluiett and drummer Eli Fountain help out on "Be-B-Q," but otherwise this date is all brass. The music ranges from James Brown to Wayne Shorter, a fairly conventional jam on "Take the 'A' Train" to gospel pieces. Overall, this is certainly an interesting outing.

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