Don Braden

Brighter Days

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Don Braden has long been a top-notch hard bop tenor saxophonist. For this quartet date with pianist Xavier Davis, bassist Dwayne Burno, and drummer Cecil Brooks III, the arrangements by Braden and the choice of songs greatly uplift the program. There are many high points, including the opening ballad "She's on Her Way," tributes to Stanley Turrentine ("Sweet T") and Grover Washington Jr. ("Not Yet"), a driving "Invitation," a duet with drummer Brooks ("Underground Groove"), and the swinging Cecil Brooks original "Montclair." Everything works! This is one of Don Braden's finest recordings so far, a well-conceived and very successful project.

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