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Gregory Tardy: The Hidden Light

C. Michael Bailey By

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Predjudice on the Shortfall. I tend to be fairly cautious when approaching recordings that are ostensibly spiritually or religiously conceived or motivated. I have found that Divine Inspiration does not always equate to listenable music. It is a sticky wicket to address spiritual inspiration with the music, but it is not a musician's personal motivation I am interested in; it is just that the music swings. Having said all of that, New Orleans-native Gregory Tardy's The Hidden Light, by my estimation, is as fine an example of Contemporary-Post Bop as a listener could hope for. Tardy has a warm fixed tone and a superb ear and conception for well-crafted solos. He offers his sidemen an impressive amount of solo room, as illustrated by Nicholas Payton on the title track. Eric Harland provides an outstanding rhythmic bedrock (á la Anthony Williams) and is the standout (with the leader) on this recording. This is loud and joyous music. A true celebration more than worth a listen.

Track Listing: The Hidden Light; The Living Hope; Beyond The Prison Doors (Venus Flytrap); Mr. Hurt; They Say It

Personnel: Gregory Tardy- tenor saxophone; Nicholas Payton- trumpet on "The Living Hope" and "Educated Freedom," flugelhorn on "The Hidden Light;" Antonio Hart- alto saxophone on "Second Wave;" George Colligan, Xavier Davis- piano; Sean Conly- bass; Eric Harland- drums.

Title: The Hidden Light | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: J Curve Records


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