Joe Locke

Wire Walker

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Vibraphonist Joe Locke's career seemed to take off during his time working with Steeplechase, not only because of his formidable playing but his ability to vary his accompanists and the mix of music from one session to the next. This 1992 date features a rhythm section of Dave Kikoski, Ed Howard, and Marvin "Smitty" Smith, as well as saxophonist Danny Walsh. The group is clearly fired up on the opener, Jimmy Heath's "A New Blue," and easily maintain their momentum throughout the rest of the date. The lush treatment of Johnny Mandel's "A Time for Love" and his revival of the overlooked ballad "Young and Foolish" (inspired somewhat by pianist Bill Evans' trio arrangement) are also outstanding tracks. Locke contributed three originals; the very demanding post-bop "Wire Walker" proves that Locke's quintet can meet almost any musical challenge. Highly recommended.

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