Elliot Caine

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Californian Caine plays a modern jazz trumpet with discernible influences (Lee Morgan, Clifford Brown, Woody Shaw, Miles Davis). The music ranges from mainstream to Afro-Cuban jazz, from Art Blakey to Tito Puente style. Caine leads a (mainly) sextet of peers: Chuck Manning (tenor sax), David Ralicke (baritone sax), Justin Reinhardt (piano), Bill Markus (bass), Willie McNeil (drums), and on loan from Poncho Sanchez for four tracks, percussionist Ramon Banda. Drummer Larance Marable (from Charlie Haden Quartet West) guests on two cuts. "Mobleyity" and "Oriental" are back-to-back easy bluesy swingers. The septet sessions with Banda are stronger -- the melody of "Mysteriouslee" leaps out at you, with everyone soloing on a good swing-to-samba rhythmic variance. "Mayonaze" is a Horace Silver-type original funk biscuit, while the straight-up Afro-Cuban "Mambo-ish" trades Manning and Michael Rose for Justo Almario on tenor, with rounds and rounds of traded solos during the extended sub-bridge. The other Latin dish, "Muy Groovy," has Rose more animated in a swing to cha cha and back format. Caine is featured on muted trumpet with only piano, bass, and Marable's drums for the lone ballad "A Different Beauty." Caine's writing and playing is not unique, ear-grabbing, or groundbreaking, but it has firm roots, definite musicianship, and a good sense of teamwork. This is actually quite a solid date for its reference points.

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