Luther Thomas

Realities: Old & New

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The concept is intriguing: two jazz avant-garde saxophonists (although with different styles) fronting an adventurous rhythm section for an eclectic mix of standards and original compositions. The session succeeds, as Luther Thomas (on alto) and Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre (on tenor) seem to glorify in the spirit of an old fashioned jam, where they let loose without inhibition. Whether on the riveting version of "Bye Bye Blackbird," or the slightly distorted "Blue Monk," or the rapid-fire "Lester Leaps In," there is a burning sensation that rarely lets go. There are no compromises here, and no concessions to commercialism. Thomas and McIntyre burn and press with unadulterated spirit. If there is a looseness to it all, that is an appropriate part of the atmosphere. Even the slow pieces, such as "The Estranged Man of Color in the Little Red House," have a fiery intensity. Mads Thorsen contributes somewhat conventional, though convincingly boppish guitar, while bassist Brian Smith and drummer Ronnie Burrage are powerful in support.

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