My Appreciation

Bill Cosby

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My Appreciation Review

by Richard S. Ginell

Cosby's second jazz album with a group of top-notch handpicked musicians finds him fading into the background some, content only to contribute two "compositions" and devote the rest of the sessions to various soul, jazz and gospel tunes. Indeed, the comedian's only audible presence are the comically dissonant bursts of synths and percussion on his "3rd Avenue Jog." The persuasive front line includes a particularly biting Rebecca Coupe Franks on trumpet, Jimmy Heath a welcome guest on tenor and soprano (he sounds quite hot on "Have a Little Talk With Jesus"), Bobby Watson on alto, and Ralph Moore on tenor and soprano. The rhythm section is a capable if sedate team of Mulgrew Miller (piano), Peter Washington (bass) and Ben Riley (drums), and Mavis Staples and Roslyn Burroughs offer powerful a cappella vocal intros on one number apiece. The range of musical styles on the CD is less adventurous than its predecessor -- perhaps the tempering hand of Cosby's co-arranger Watson had something to do with that -- and ultimately, it isn't quite as much fun.

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