The Ritz

Movin' Up

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The Ritz lost a bit of steam with this disappointing CD. After showing off their abilities to interpret standards, swing and bop with equal skill, this effort focuses on rather tepid, forgettable originals, with an overabundance of electric keyboards and dreadful keyboard programming -- the death knell for serious jazz fans. All is not lost as they return to their earlier roots with a lovely interpretation of "My Foolish Heart" and a swinging take of Gerry Mulligan's "Jeru." But Brandon Fields' weak smooth jazz saxophone detracts from an otherwise snappy take of Thelonious Monk's "Rhythm-a-Ning" and the monotonous, over-produced "Perdido" is enough to sicken fans of Duke Ellington. Skip this mediocre disc and instead check out their first Denon CD, The Ritz.

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