Greg Glassman

Onward and Upward

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There is a suppleness and ease of delivery about trumpeter Greg Glassman's playing that undeniably echoes his mentor, Marcus Belgrave's sound. Glassman considers Belgrave his primary musical influence, along with other Detroit mainstays such as drummer Lawrence Williams. This is not to say that Glassman sounds just like the Detroit trumpeter. On the contrary, his maturing trumpet facility and subtle rhythmic assurance allow him to tackle a varied range of jazz styles without ever sounding overtly derivative -- although the post-bop, up-tempo set-opener "Lennox Avenue" does call to mind Kenny Dorham's classic Blue Note album Trompeta Toccata. Similarly engaging is "May Day," a Strayhorn/Ellington-influenced ballad with a timeless quality that just begs for lyrics. In fact, most of Glassman's compositions are melodic, "pretty" songs that stick with you after one listen. Backed skillfully by his quartet featuring bassist Danton Boller, pianist Dave Pier, and Detroit native Quincy Davis, the New York-based trumpeter solidifies his respect for the Motor City jazz traditions by bringing in Detroit saxophone icon Donald Walden for two tracks. Vibist Bryan Carrott also adds moody harmonic color to this stellar outfit.

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