Earma Thompson

Madam Queen

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To honor the veteran if greatly underrated Chicago pianist Earma Thompson, tenor saxophonists Ari Brown and John Brumbach joined her in a quintet for a set of standards and basic originals. While Brumbach and especially Brown are best known for playing in more adventurous settings, they sound very much at home on this hard-swinging date, recalling such Chicago tenors as Gene Ammons and Johnny Griffin. Brumbach takes "Ceora" as his feature while Brown swings on a medium-tempo version of "In a Sentimental Mood." Otherwise, the two tenors are on each number, challenging each other and inspiring Thompson. With fine support supplied by bassist Yosef Ben Israel and drummer William "Bugs" Cochran, this is a classic hard bop set; highly recommended.

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