Al Grey

Me N' Jack

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This release from Pullen Music has a very logical matchup between trombonist Al Grey and organist Jack McDuff. The music is blues-oriented, with occasional departures such as "God Bless the Child," and features several excellent soloists on a set of mostly basic originals. Grey's mastery of the plunger mute has long given his swing-to-bop trombone its own distinctive sound. Organist Jack McDuff is quite subtle, yet always swings hard, and his regular tenor saxophonist, Jerry Weldon, is a strong asset. Guitarist Joe Cohn continues to grow as an improviser; bassist Jerome Hunter is fine in support, and drummer Bobby Durham drives the ensembles and has a few drum breaks, most notably on "Deli's Blues," which is dedicated to Art Blakey and purposely reminiscent of "Blues March." The music is accessible, full of high spirits and quite joyful. Highly recommended to straight-ahead jazz fans.

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