Ralph MacDonald

Counterpoint

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Ralph MacDonald's third Marlin date abandons the complexity and reach of the preceding The Path in favor of a slicker, more commercial approach calling to mind his Saturday Night Fever hit "Calypso Breakdown." Counterpoint so actively solicits club airplay that several tracks feature a vocalist, Zachary Sanders, while another bears the cringe-worthy title "Discolypso." Taken solely on its own merits, this is a superior disco effort, performed with verve and dexterity, but in comparison to MacDonald's previous records it's a disappointment. Only the Caribbean-flavored "East Dry River" affords him the opportunity to explore rhythms and textures outside of the norm, and it's disheartening to witness the talents of players like Eric Gale and Richard Tee wasted on such frivolous fare.

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