Hue and Cry features an eight-strong, all-star version of Bobby Previte's Weather Clear, Track Fast band and results in one of his finest efforts as a leader. Along with Henry Threadgill, Previte, in the late '80s and early '90s, was one of the leading figures of avant-garde jazz, using mid-sized groups to explore complex compositional ideas more than as solo vehicles. He's also extremely adept at tension-and-release structures, often using what might have been an introductory riff for anyone else as an extended phrase, wringing out every bit of melody from it, and leaving the listener in a juicy state of anticipation for the eventual burst into the central theme. Previte uses an interesting pairing up in this band, with Don Byron and Marty Ehrlich often both playing clarinet, Robin Eubanks and Eddie Allen on brass, and, most prominently, Anthony Davis on piano alongside Larry Goldings' organ. Goldings is particularly out front on many of the pieces here, giving the band a very different cast from their earlier recording. Only the ambitious "700 Camels" fails to cohere completely; the remainder of the tracks all have both imaginative writing and (at the least) solid playing and soloing. On the other hand, the similarly lengthy title track pulls all the right switches, layering material in a rich fabric and hurtling toward a satisfying climax. The closing number is an unusual dirge, with Previte playing a martial rhythm, Davis trickling out single notes like rainfall, and Ehrlich keening on soprano. Recommended.
AllMusic Review by Brian Olewnick