Mark Gross: Riddle of the Sphinx
But there are more as well. Cannonball Adderley's "Mirabi" creates images of oases with John La Barbara playing the ancient Oud to create the necessary illusions. Wayne Shorter's hard bop Black Nile, while out of place with the overall theme of the session, gives Gross an opportunity to pay homage to those bop altos who have preceded him. For the album's coda, "The Red Sea", the playing is serene and resigned that the riddles of the ancient watchdogs of civilization remain, with Miller's gently struck last three notes ending the session. Very effective. This album is one of the few that manages to hold true to its theme announced in the title without becoming cloying or monotonous. Recommended.
Track Listing: Valley of the Dry Bones; Moses in Egypt; Eastern Joy Dance; Lullaby of Isfahan; Riddle of the Sphinx; The Desert Sands of Cairo; Black Nile; Isfahan; Marabi; The Red Sea
Personnel: Mark Gross - Alto & Soprano Sax; Mulgrew Miller - Piano; Brian Blade - Drums; Darryl Hall - Bass; Joe Locke - Vibes/Marimba; Khalil Kwame Bell - Percussion; John La Barbara - Oud
Record Label: J Curve Records