Lenny White

Renderers of Spirit

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Drummer Lenny White doesn't explore much new territory on Renderers Of Spirit, which contains nothing that will make you forget that he played drums on the legendary Bitches Brew sessions for Miles Davis, or that, along with Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea and Al DiMeola, he helped define 1970s jazz-fusion as Return to Forever.

But even though the compositions here survey what amounts to the by-now familiar R&B meets jazz domain, White and company make the journey enough of a comfortably swinging stroll to make it worth the trip. White's sound and plump backbeat on drums in "Ho-Cake" sound straight outta hip-hop (that is, before they dissolve in a limpid pool of what's now called "smooth jazz"), and bassist Victor Bailey bounces off the walls in his own title, "Pick Pocket."

Renderers includes contributions from fellow Miles alumni Foley and Bennie Maupin, Stanley Clarke, George Duke, and Michael Brecker (In fact, "Countdown 2000" would not sound out of place on Davis' album Tutu). It closes with a challenging jazz-funk mind-meld of Jackie McLean's "Dr. Jackyle" wih Sly Stone's "Africa Talks To You," and also includes covers (with vocals) of Burt Bacharach's "Walk On By" (which nominally works) and of Christopher Cross' "Sailing" (which absolutely does not).

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