Buster Cooper

E-bone-ix

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Buster Cooper (an alumnus of Duke Ellington's Orchestra) and the late Thurman Green had been fixtures in the Los Angeles jazz area for quite a few years when they recorded this set, which was finally released in 1997. The CD puts the focus on the two trombonists who are joined by a local rhythm section comprised of pianist Phil Wright, bassist Louie Spears and drummer Dave Tucker. The jam session-flavored date has logical frameworks and arrangements along with a few surprises, such as the funky (a la Eddie Harris) treatment of Ornette Coleman's "Ramblin'" and the introduction of three viable Green originals ("Sunrise on the Cuts" is most memorable). In general, the music (which also includes "Groovin' High," "Work Song," "Will You Still Be Mine" and "Caravan," among others) is bop-oriented, and there are times when the co-leaders recall (without copying directly) the team of J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding. Although one would expect the usually rambunctious Cooper to be the main jokester while Green is the straight man, the two players are an excellent match with Cooper a bit more restrained than usual. The music is tasteful and swinging, with just enough unpredictable moments to keep one's interest throughout. Recommended to fans of the bop trombone tradition.

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