Robert Hurst

Robert Hurst Presents: Robert Hurst

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This set finds bassist Robert Hurst leading the Tonight Show All-Stars (with Branford Marsalis on various reeds and pianist Kenny Kirkland), plus trumpeter Marcus Belgrave and guest Ralph Miles Jones III (on bass clarinet and bassoon) through 11 of his originals and a solo bass version of Thelonious Monk's "Evidence." The music is complex and hard-driving, but the improvisations are rather cold and sometimes boring. Hurst, a superior bassist, is not a superior composer, and his compositions at best set moods. Of the supporting cast, the most distinctive voices are Belgrave and Jones; the latter has a colorful bass clarinet solo on "The Snake Charmer." This is a decent effort, but not all that essential.

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