East Down Septet

Out of Gridlock

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This intriguing post-bop group explores pieces by Andrew Hill, Ornette Coleman ("The Mothers of the Veil"), and Jaco Pastorius ("Three Views of a Secret") in addition to a variety of group originals and a "Suite from 'Taxi Driver'." The band sometimes recalls Charles Mingus' groups a little or that of Ornette, but generally sounds quite original. Trumpeter Ron Horton (whose way of improvising is a bit touched by that of Dave Douglas), tenor saxophonist Rich Rothenberg, Tom Varner on French horn, baritonist Jim Hartog, and guitarist Pete McCann have their share of solos, but it is the East Down Septet's group sound and the musicians' constant reactions to each other that makes this set different than the usual modern jazz date. The musicianship is impeccable, the playing is colorful, and each of the ten pieces holds one's interest. Recommended.

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