Frank Butler

The Stepper

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Frank Butler's first record date as a leader came about a few years following a self-imposed sabbatical to take care of his battle with drug addiction. Known especially for his work in the Curtis Counce Group and a brief tour with Miles Davis, the drummer is in top form on this quartet date with pianist Dolo Coker, tenor saxophonist Jack Montrose, and bassist Monty Budwig. He never loses the listener's attention during his two long drum solos, which are the focal points of the nearly 20-minute "The Stepper" and "Urbane," both composed by Coker. Montrose and Coker share the spotlight in the one standard on the date, "Easy Living." Budwig's introduction to Charlie Parker's "Au Privave," and his great comping in support of Coker's solo, are a refreshing switch from the obvious focus on the saxophone, which is omitted entirely from this track. One of only two sessions that Butler recorded as a leader, this LP should be snapped up without delay by bop fans.

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