Michael Hashim

Keep a Song in Your Soul

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Although altoist Michael Hashim performs eight Fats Waller songs on Keep a Song in Your Soul plus one song ("Two Sleepy People") that Fats helped make famous, the performances actually have nothing much to do with Waller other than the themes being stated. This is essentially a straight-ahead bop date that has Hashim sounding a bit like Phil Woods, with an occasional Eric Dolphy phrase tossed in. Trumpeter Claudio Roditi and pianist Richard Wyands also take several very good solos along the way. If one can forget the fact that these are Waller tunes, and not mind the fact that the renditions (particularly "Fats Waller's Original E Flat Blues," which has the group sounding like Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers) have no real connection to 1930s jazz, the date can be enjoyed. But it seems strange to revive these tunes and then do nothing with them except jam over the chord changes.

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