Julius Hemphill Trio

Live From the New Music Cafe

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A live recording from the short-lived New Music Cafe in New York City, this disc features the late composer/saxophonist in a trio setting with longtime associate Abdul Wadud and drummer Joe Bonadio. It's a loose set ranging from subtly structured pieces to hard drivers like his classic "Dogon AD," generally featuring nice interplay between the leader's sinuous alto and soprano and Wadud's cello, the two musicians having become, at this point, virtual extensions of each other. Drummer Bonadio, who oddly enough had prior experience in Chuck Mangione's group (!), is less successful, gamely attempting to keep up with the other two rather than prodding them forward and lacking the down-home funk of previous Hemphill drummers like Philip Wilson or Famadou Don Moye. Listeners familiar with albums like 'Coon Bid'ness or Five Chord Stud might miss the exacting rigor and strength of those ensembles, but those who prefer a more relaxed, even languorous, atmosphere may find a good deal to enjoy here.

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