Saxophonist David Murray continues his cross genre initiatives on this undeniably exciting, 2003 release Now Is Another Time. With this effort, the artist enlists his longtime running mates, trumpeter Hugh Ragin and baritone saxophonist Hamiet Bluiett to complement a huge cast of Cuban musicians. This large ensemble Latin jazz extravaganza packs a mighty blow, from beginning to end. Here, the band churns out radiant, multi-layered horn arrangements atop the Cuban masters' sweltering percussion grooves and the soloists' blaring exchanges. They integrate punctual choruses into the grand mix, to coincide with the band's bold, brassy sound and thrusting impetus. Furthermore, Murray is in top form, evidenced by his climactically driven soloing endeavors -- where he peaks within the upper registers -- via an unrelenting pace. It's all about perpetual motion topped off with a festive sentiment, marked by oscillating Afro-Cuban grooves and a few poignant interludes here and there. But the musicians also utilize space to their advantage, where they often allow any given soloist, ample breathing room to reconfigure previously explored themes. Folks, this is the real deal. An awe-inspiring effort, indeed!
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AllMusic Review by Glenn Astarita