Babatunde Lea

March of the Jazz Guerillas

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March of the Jazz Guerillas Review

by Scott Yanow

This exciting set by percussionist Babatunde Lea ranges from Afro-Cuban jazz to interplay by the three horn players that is reminiscent of Charles Mingus' bands. There is no letup in the intensity and passion, even on slower numbers, and the use of repetition is inspired, never outlasting its welcome. Pianist Hilton Ruiz, trumpeter Kahlil Shaheed, and trombonist Angela Wellman all have their spots, but tenor saxophonist Richard Howell takes honors among the sidemen, not just for his solos but for his vocalizing on a few numbers, particularly "The Creator Has a Master Plan" and "Nature Boy." The stirring ensembles and heated rhythms make this a particularly memorable outing that is highly recommended.

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