For this session trumpet virtuoso Tom Harrell expands upon his usual small group setting, adding oboes, bassoons, violins and various percussion instruments to the mix. The Art of Rhythm
is a lovely 10 song collection of Harrell originals , dominated by the sounds of sambas, bossa novas and exotic Latin rhythms. A quick read of the album credits reveals that Harrell has spotted a couple of "ringers" into his large ensemble. Pianist Danilo Perez (a master of the Latin genre), sax man Dewey Redman and guitarist Mike Stern all turn in fine cameo appearances. Redman and Perez are particularly strong on Doo Bop
, one of the few true bebop tunes on the CD. Stern contributes suitably restrained guitar solos to the gentle Exit In
and the sultry set closer Samba Do Amor
. The sounds of over a dozen percussion devices are peppered throughout Harrell's arrangements and they give this mellow CD its character and personality. Tom's solos fall in line with the overall mood of the album and his mellifluous phrases flow in a clear, even and thoughtful manner.