James L. Dean


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For his debut record, James L. Dean is featured on tenor (where his heavy tone sometimes recalls Coleman Hawkins), clarinet, and flute. An interesting if not a major player (tenor is actually his weakest instrument), Dean wisely surrounded himself with some top-notch talent, including trumpeter Claudio Roditi, Nelson Hill on soprano and flute, trombonist Hart Smith, and guitarist Harry Leahey. Marlene Ver Planck helps out with a few vocals. The material is mostly pretty obscure, other than Lee Morgan's "Ceora" and Clare Fischer's "Pensitiva," including such tunes as "Another Day Without Your Love," Don Rader's "Antibes," and Gary McFarland's "Melancholico." Overall, the music is enjoyable if not particularly memorable; Dean's future CDs (particularly On the Run) would be on a higher level.

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