Russell Gunn

Love Requiem

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Trumpeter Russell Gunn remembers the breakup of a love affair on this CD, a nine-part suite. His writing recalls Booker Little a bit, while his trumpet playing is closer to Freddie Hubbard's. The first part of the suite is reasonably happy ("In the Beginning: Love") and then, in sections with titles such as "Deceit," "Psychosis" and "Torment," the music gets rather stormy and downbeat. The final part, "Acceptance," finds him finally coming to terms with the relationship's end. Fortunately, the music itself is not overly gloomy, with heated and sometimes intense soloing from altoist Myron Walden, tenor-saxophonist Mark Turner and the McCoy Tyner-inspired pianist, James Hurt, keeping the proceedings moving. Also on this date is Greg Tardy (one appearance apiece on flute and tenor), vibraphonist Stefon Harris, bassist Eric Revis and drummer Cindy Blackman. The ambitious project is successful (this was Russell Gunn's best recording up to this point) although one wishes that there were some joyful sections to the suite too that remembered the glorious part of the romance.

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