Curtis Fuller

Four on the Outside

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While Curtis Fuller may have reached his peak in the 1960s, he continued to be an important voice well into the 1970s and beyond. This delightful set features him in a front line with Pepper Adams, and the trombone-baritone saxophone combination was a natural. (Curiously, few others have followed this intriguing coupling.) While there is no new ground broken, Adams and Fuller negotiate tunes mostly written by Fuller, with simple, yet elegant heads. The version of "Hello Young Lovers" is characteristically conservative, yet sharp and well rehearsed. Fuller's nasal tone, machine gun-like spurts, and focus on the middle range on his horn complements Adams' angular, boppish lines. The fine rhythm section of pianist James Williams, bassist Dennis Irwin, and drummer John Yarling never gets in the way, but lets the horns spread their wings.

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