Raphe Malik

Looking East: A Suite in Three Parts

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Trumpeter Malik leads his quartet through an extended composition in a half-dozen sections, exhibiting superb timing, a sense of drama, and impeccable taste in his associates. Plenty of solo space crops up during the suite and Sabir Mateen makes the absolute most of it on his various horns. It is nice to hear the bandleader soloing at length, picking up support from drummer Cody Moffett that is sometimes over-busy, although good-naturedly so. While the label is to be praised for releasing a live concert in its entirety with very little obvious editing, the inevitable downside includes a drum solo that while fine itself leads to audience applause, which effectively shuts down the feeling the musicians had been working so hard to sustain.

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