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by Jack Bowers
Cellar Live Records continues its run of admirable mainstream albums with Melodious Drum, Canadian-born and New York City-based Phil Stewart's debut as leader of his own groups, which range from trio to sextet. It's an interesting title, as Stewart's drums may be congenial but aren't melodious in the manner of, say, Jeff Hamilton, Ed Thigpen, Shelly Manne, Chico Hamilton or even Louie Bellson. He simply keeps very good time without excessive frills or flamboyance, while his solos are forceful yet ...read more