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It would be hard to argue with bassist and leader Ron McClure when he assesses the musicians assembled here as being a “dream team”. Drummer Billy Hart alone guarantees the success of just about any record date he is a part of, while pianist Marc Copland has recently been turning heads with his own acclaimed series of Savoy dates. The ringer here is likely to be tenor saxophonist Rich Perry, at long last getting his due thanks to a viable gig with bandleader Maria Schneider and his own superlative SteepleChase discs.
What we have here are eight modern originals penned by McClure (albeit one cut written by Copland) that have been tailor-made for the ensemble on deck. Perry’s virile and ingenious solo work is of great interest throughout, as are Copland’s expansive forays. McClure judiciously spreads his solo time throughout the set, while Hart colors each composition with a style that is marked by his innovative use of cymbal colors and textures.
No need here to go into boundless track-by-track detail, except to say that fans of McClure’s mainstream fare will no doubt revel in this latest set to see an American release.
Personnel: Ron McClure- bass, Rich Perry- tenor saxophone, Marc Copland- piano, Billy Hart- drums
I was first exposed to jazz while learning to play chess with my uncles. They would play smooth jazz, and then switch up to more standard types of jazz. But, when they played Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, I was
hooked and I haven't looked back.