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Deux! Stefon Harris’ second Blue Note release is every bit as satisfying as 1998’s Cloud of Red Dust. On the current Black Action Figure we are faced with a septet that includes and is produced by label mate and altoist Greg Osby and includes Steve Turre on the ‘bone. But make no mistake, Harris is not lost among all of these players. This is very much his recording. The originals here are angular wonders of compositions readily dispatched by Harris and his fine rhythm section and soloists. Gary Thomas furnishes a fluid flute on “Of Things to Come” while Turre shines on “Club Madness.” “The ballad “After the Day is Done” features some pensive playing by pianist Jason Moran and Harris himself pounds a contrapuntal “You Stepped Out of a Dream.”
If you are not a Milt Jackson snob and liked Harris’ first recording, do yourself the favor of buying this one. The first was no fluke.
Track Listing: Club Madness; Feline Blues; There is No Greater Love; Of Things to Come; After the Day is Done; Conversations at the Mess; BlackActionFigure; Collage; You Stepped out of a Dream; Alovi; Bass Vibes; The Alchemist; Chorale, Faded Beauty; Musical Silence. (Total Playing Time 63:06).
Personnel: Stefon Harris: Vibraphone; Tarus Mateen: Base; Eric Harland: Drums; Steve Turre: Trombone; Gary Thomas Alto Flute, Tenor Saxophone; Greg Osby: Alto Saxophone; Jason Moran: Piano.
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me. If we don't run a review, Alligator Records is going to stop servicing us.
Night Flight opened up a whole new world for me--the blues led me, inevitably, to Basie, who led to Duke, who led to Mingus, who led to Miles, who led to ...