Roswell Rudd

Broad Strokes

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For those of us who recall fondly Roswell Rudd's outstanding work in the '60s and '70s, this latest effort may come as a bit of a disappointment. It is a mixed bag, an odd-ball collection of Rudd-led sessions over a nearly a year. The track with Steve Lacy and Elton Dean performing Monk's "Coming on the Hudson" is terrific, with Rudd in top form and the saxophonists adding considerably. Similarly, the tentet, with three trombones (Steve Swell and Josh Roseman, in addition to Rudd) performs a meaty version of Herbie Nichols' "Change of Season"; a less compelling rendition of Rudd's "Stokey" (which features less-than-exemplary lyrics sung by Steve Ruddick); and a fascinating take of Ellington's "All Too Soon/Way Low." Roswell's words to his "Sassy & Dolphy" miss the mark (and are sung by a rather sterile-sounding Christopher Rudd), and the trombonist's recitation on his own "God had a Girlfriend" just doesn't make it. On the other hand, who can resist Rudd and Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore playing an excerpt from Saint-Saens' Symphony No. 3 or a reunion of Roswell and Sheila Jordan. Rudd fans will not wish to pass this recording up, although it is much more an oddity than anything definitive or enduring.

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