Bluezeum

Portrait of a Groove

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    3
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AllMusic Review by

This is a recording with an identity crisis. Six of the ten songs (including the first four) are dominated by the rapping and talking of Adwin Brown and Vann Johnson. Their messages seem to say relatively little except how grooving and funky the music is. The fact that the backup music is quite routine is besides the point to them. Strangely enough, the five instrumentals (which include four of the last five songs) have spots for such fine players as trumpeter Walt Fowler, tenor saxophonist Albert Wing, and trombonist Andy Martin, but, by the time they play "'Swing," it is too late to save this disappointing and forgettable project. Another minus is that it came out on Telarc (a fine label known for its jazz and classical recordings), and there is no hint on the outside of the CD that this is essentially a low-level rap record.

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