Giovanni Hidalgo

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This CD is a real gem. Percussionist Giovanni Hidalgo leads a septet/octet that includes flutist Dave Valentin, trumpeter Lew Soloff, tenor saxophonist Craig Handy, Hilton Ruiz or Eric Figueroa on piano, bassist Eddie Rivera, and drummer Ignacio Berroa, plus Mario Rivera on various reeds. The arrangements of Ruiz, Figueroa, and Marty Sheller are quite colorful, revitalizing such numbers as "It Don't Mean a Thing," Sonny Clark's "Blue Minor," "Canadian Sunset," "Summertime," and "Seven Steps to Heaven." The consistently rewarding solos and surprising arrangements make this set highly recommended.

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