David Jean Baptiste

Groove on a Four

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David Jean Baptiste plays some of the same instruments as Eric Dolphy (although not flute) and on bass clarinet he often sounds close to Dolphy. In addition, the one nonoriginal of Groove on a Four is Dolphy's "Serene." However, on alto and the E flat clarinet, Jean Baptiste sounds more original, and even his choice of notes on bass clarinet is different than his role model. The opening "9 Prospect Avenue" is a tribute to David Murray, while "Rememberin' JC" is a deconstruction and reinvention of John Coltrane's "Alabama." Jean Baptiste is particularly strong on his two clarinets. He is accompanied throughout by an alert and inspired rhythm section. None of these musicians have become household names, but this CD, from the British Saxology label, is well worth searching for by listeners interested in post-bop explorations tied to the 1960s.

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