Sphere

Pumpkin's Delight

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This 1986 concert by the quartet Sphere is one of the short-lived group's high points, although it was not released until five years after the group had disbanded (in 1988) just prior to the death of Charlie Rouse. "Pumpkin's Delight" is a turbocharged blues by Rouse that kicks off the concert with a flourish. Kenny Barron's "Saud's Song" is another up-tempo cooker, an inventive post-bop vehicle that demonstrates why Barron became one of the most in demand pianists for recording sessions during the decade, as well as showcasing a potent opening solo by Rouse. Bassist Buster Williams composed the remaining three tracks. "Christina" is a pretty ballad, while "Tokudo" is a tricky bop chart and "Decaptkon" ranks as one of the more challenging works in the quartet's repertoire; it features Ben Riley's crisp brushwork and a fine solo by its composer. Recommended.

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