Manhattan Jazz Quintet

Someday My Prince Will Come

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The Manhattan Jazz Quintet have been an on-again, off-again collective of New York City-based musicians who primarily record for the Japanese market. Co-founding members David Matthews (piano and arranger) and trumpeter Lew Soloff are still on hand, though the remainder of the group on this occasion consists of tenor saxophonist Andy Snitzer, bassist Charnett Moffett, and drummer Victor Lewis. Matthews' driving post-bop composition "Wheel of Fortune" provides an excellent introduction, though his scoring of "So What" is somewhat disappointing, as it doesn't make good use of Lewis' immense talent with its lazy funk backbeat. "Someday My Prince Will Come" opens with laconic opening statements by Snitzer and Soloff (the latter on muted horn), though it quickly transforms into a breezy waltz setting. One can feel the energy of a big band in the brisk arrangement of Sammy Nestico's "The Wind Machine," featuring Snitzer to good effect. The old warhorse "On the Sunny Side of the Street" also benefits from Matthews' scoring, transforming it into a hard bop cooker. Even pop artist Leon Russell's often syrupy "A Song for You" sounds good in the hands of the Manhattan Jazz Quintet. If there is a downside to this CD, it is the stingy 46 minutes of music, which seems rather brief in the 21st century for a jazz release.

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