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First of all, ignore the spacey, futuristic cover photo and zodiac-theme song titles. They are nothing more than marketing mumbo-jumbo and bear little relation to the musical content. What we have here is a pianist who has done some nice work as a sideman with Antonio Hart (Here I Stand) and Sherman Irby (Full Circle), but sounds out of his depth on this CD — his debut as a leader. Throughout Dark Grooves-Mystical Rhythms, Hurt’s piano lines are often smothered by a thundering bassman and the jackhammer drumming of, at various times, Nasheet Waits, Ari Hoenig and Eric McPherson. Guest stars Antonio Hart (Alto/Soprano) and Greg Tardy (Tenor) suffer a similar fate, as they strain to be heard above the rhythmic din. The occasional time that James Hurt does find a groove, it seems to be a case of good luck, as opposed to good management. A scrambled, rather annoying first effort! (##)
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.