George Braith

Soul Stream

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Picking up where "Braith-Away," athe final and most successful song on Two Souls in One, left off, Soul Stream finds George Braith coming into his own. Where his debut felt hampered by uneven material and unsure execution of Braith's trademark double-sax attack, Soul Stream is confident and assured. Soul Stream concentrates on mildly adventurous hard bop with soul-jazz overtones, which usually come from organist Billy Gardner and guitarist Grant Green. Braith doesn't rely on the double horn nearly as much as before, using it for harmonic coloring and musical texture. Only on "Billy Told," a languid reworking of "The William Tell Overture," does the technique fall flat -- on the other songs, the double sax sounds bizarre, but it accentuates the way Braith wants to push boundaries. Unfortunately, Braith never truly cuts loose, but there's enough provocative material and cerebral grooves on Soul Stream to make it a worthwhile listen.

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