The tunesall by Stecklerhave the feel of the best George Russell ensembles, taking the modern jazz vocabulary and context for a much-needed ride. The opening "March Nor'easter, for example, is jaunty and playful but digs into a groove that keeps it in the pulse. Steckler squawks on alto and Fowlkes bellows and braysall over rich sounds from Cain and a powerful AkLaffbut the tune keeps you snapping your fingers, even as you can't quite figure out where it's going to go.
Later the group does a nutty take on a Latin groove"Episodio pa' Osmany spinning it out into some other world, one where the digging is down and deep but also headed into new territory. All the tunes have a feel that we've come to know from listening to jazz records, but none of them feels tired or rehashed.
Track Listing: Unknown Rebel; Episodio pa' Osmany; Hitting the Windshield; March Nor'easter; Persiflage; Spitfire; Country Rake Fight; Turbulent Life Seekers; Ring on Delhi; Mallard Call in the Cain Fields.
Personnel: Curtis Fowlkes: trombone; Lonnie Plaxico: bass; Matt Steckler: saxophone; Michael Cain: piano; Pheeroan Aklaff: drums.
Record Label: Innova Recordings
Style: Modern Jazz
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