Cedar Walton

The Pentagon

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Originally released by the Japanese East Wind label and made available briefly domestically on an LP from the defunct Inner City label, this quartet outing features pianist Cedar Walton, the underrated tenor saxophonist Clifford Jordan, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Billy Higgins; Ray Mantilla adds his congas to three of the six selections. The group performs fresh versions of five jazz standards (including "Manteca," Kenny Dorham's "Una Mas," and Lester Young's "D.B. Blues") plus Jordan's "He Is a Hero." Superior to Walton's RCA recordings of the period and his upcoming output for Columbia, this obscure effort finds all of the musicians playing up to their usual level of creativity.

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