Russell Gunn: Young Gunn Plus
The ballads "You Don't Know What Love Is," "There Is No Greater Love," and "Fly Me to the Moon" present straight-ahead mainstream jazz and feature Gunn's lyrical trumpet. "Pannonica," presented as a trumpet-piano duet, offers yet another opportunity to appreciate Gunn's sensitive trumpet tone and manner. The leader's compositions "East St. Louis" and "The Message" represent hard bop ideas with "outside" or avant-garde stretches. The quintet is tight and burns accordingly. "The Concept" invites guest rap artist Chef Word to relate the biographical tale of Russell Gunn's change in focus from everyone's music to jazz. The syncopated hip-hop lyrics include:
Branford Marsalis replaces Sam Newsome on the final three tracks. Recorded in 1995, the additional pieces employ a different piano trio as well, but Gunn is in fine form. He and Marsalis present a fiery hard bop take of Jimmy Heath's "Ginger Bread Boy" that includes solos from all. Recommended.
Track Listing: East St. Louis; Fly Me To The Moon; Wade In The Water; D.J.; You Don't Know What Love Is; The Concept; The Message; There Is No Greater Love; Blue Gene; Pannonica; The Beeach; Bronwyn; Ginger Bread Boy.
Record Label: 32 Records