Tony Lujan

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Session man, disciple of Clark Terry, Latin jazz traditionalist, trumpeter Tony Lujan chooses to follow the well-worn 21st century path of saluting other trumpet players, most of whom were gone at the time of the disc's release. The twist is that these are Latin jazz renderings of the works of the masters -- and they are uncompromising, vital re-interpretations, and well-worth hearing. The usual icons are run-up the flagpole, -- one tune per composer -- Miles Davis, Lee Morgan, Clifford Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Dorham, Woody Shaw, Freddie Hubbard, Terry, of course -- and Lujan fields a full ten-piece band of Latino musicians with four percussionists, and an accomplished four-horn front line: Lujan, Conrad Herwig on trombone, Yosvanni Terry on tenor, and Miguel Zenón on alto sax. The group comes up with a particularly welcome, boiling, complicated Latin jazz take on Hubbard's seldom-covered "The Intrepid Fox," and Lujan proves himself a master of the traditional bop trumpet line on tunes like Dorham's "Short Story" and Brown's "Daahoud." He also contributes his own attractively romantic danzon number, "Forever My Love," with a ghostly string septet glommed on underneath and sounding very much like Hubbard on the flugelhorn. The Latin percussionists inject a steady undercurrent of energy into the affair -- and that's enough to bring what could have been a pro forma exercise in reverence to life.

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