Mike Grey

Grey's Theme

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This CD by trombonist Mike Grey (Al Grey's son) contains a grab bag of music. The obvious high point is Lisa Nobumoto's feature on her own "Child Support Blues," a memorable and swinging performance that would make a strong single. The talented singer (who deserves her own record date) is also featured on "Grey's Theme," although the leader's trombone is a bit too loud when they are trying to blend together. Most of the other songs put the focus on Mike Grey's horn and feature a couple of other notable second-generation players (guitarist Joe Cohn, who is the son of saxophonist Al, and bassist J.J. Wiggins, the son of pianist Gerry), along with either Mike Cochrane or Beatrice DeMellow on piano and Cindy Blackman or Al Bartee on drums. DeMellow's vocals on two songs are impressive (even if Grey's own occasional singing is more routine), and in general, the music (mostly by the leader other than "Exodus") is straight-ahead and full of joy and swing. The packaging of the set, which does not list recording dates or an unidentified trumpeter who pops up on one cut, could be improved, but the spirit is certainly there.