Universal Congress Of

Prosperous & Qualified

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Of the jazz acts signed to SST Records, Universal Congress Of is one of the more interesting to someone who actually likes jazz rather than hybrids. On Prosperous & Qualified the band shows considerable instrumental skills and comfort with a range of styles, from free jazz to a surprisingly good swamp blues. While most of the material on this disc is tight, powerful jazz-funk, on "Mellow Down Easy," Steve Moss lays down his tenor sax and blows up a storm on harmonica. It's quite a departure for the man and the band, but it sounds great. While Joe Baiza was the best-known member at the time of this release, Moss and bassist Ralph Gorodetsky play as many leads and have as much to do with the sound of the band. Prosperous & Qualified is an exciting ensemble effort and an excellent debut album.

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