Micheal Hackett

Circles

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The recording debut of trumpeter Micheal Hackett as a leader is an impressive effort. Hackett, formerly a member of several jazz orchestras including those led by Toshiko Akiyoshi, Anita Brown and Scott Whitfield, has a warm tone influenced by Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw but is fairly distinctive. For his advanced modern mainstream date, he contributed five originals and arranged the ensembles. The music is harmonically adventurous and a little reminiscent in spots of Herbie Hancock's acoustic dates. Best known among the sidemen are trombonist Vincent Gardner and Aaron Scott (formerly McCoy Tyner's regular drummer) but all six players are excellent and have their spots to shine. Although none of the originals are destined to become originals (the hypnotic "Circles" has the most potential), they serve as challenging vehicles for the players who are very much up to the task. For the leader, the highlight is his beautiful playing on "Never Let Me Go." This is an excellent outing overall for Micheal Hackett, a name we will be hearing more from in the future.

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