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Stefon Harris: Black Action Figure

C. Michael Bailey By

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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.

Title: Black Action Figure | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Blue Note

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