Mark Ladley

Strictly Business

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Drummer Mark Ladley leads a set of swinging straight-ahead jazz performed by some fine musicians from the Midwest on this CD. The first five selections feature Ladley in a trio with organist Mel Rhyne (best known for his early association with Wes Montgomery) and tenor saxophonist John Greiner; "Gravy Waltz" and Tadd Dameron's "On a Misty Night" are highlights. The remaining performances have Ladley and bassist Charlie Hoats joined by either John Altenburgh (for one song), Mary Louise Knutson, or Laura Caviani (the latter two on a pair of numbers apiece) on piano. Each of the four different trios works together quite well, with Ladley mostly sticking to swinging the ensembles. Fans of hard bop will enjoy this excellent outing.

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