Rodney Whitaker

Hidden Kingdom

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On his second CD as a leader, Rodney Whittaker is joined by a rotating cast of Detroit's best jazz players and other guests for a program of original compositions by the group's members and one jazz classic, with Whittaker's big-toned bass anchoring the proceedings. Sax superstar James Carter guest stars on five of the ten selections, with his swing-based tone and cutting edge tendencies, although he is more restrained here than on his own recordings. Favorites include Whittaker's "Childhood," a multi-tempo composition that features an excellent alto sax solo by Cassius Richmond and an exciting trumpet-tenor duel between Dwight Adams and Ron Blake; a joyous romp on Oscar Pettiford's "Blues in the Closet"; Richmond's multi-themed and multi-tempo "First Impressions"; and Whittaker's lovely ballad "The Child in the Womb." Whittaker's bass playing and composing establish him as one to watch in the future.

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