Nick Brignola

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Some jazz recordings take pages to explain and analyze. Such is not the case with Nick Brignola's Reservoir release, for the great baritonist (who ranks up with Gerry Mulligan, Hamiet Bluiett, and Ronnie Cuber as pacesetters on the instrument in the mid-'90s) jams four standards and three straight-ahead originals with an all-star quintet also featuring trumpeter Claudio Roditi and pianist John Hicks. In addition to his many robust baritone solos, Brignola has excellent outings on clarinet ("More Than You Know") and soprano. With bassist George Mraz and drummer Dick Berk ably supporting the group and both Roditi and Hicks heard at the peak of their powers, Brignola's album is a strong set of bop-oriented music.

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