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Master bassist Cecil McBee has had a long career of supporting some of the greats of jazz from earlier work on Blue Note to more recent sessions with Joanne Brackeen and Chico Freeman. He has also produced a handful of fine dates as a leader over the years, as well as occasional tours and recordings with The Leaders, an all-star band comprised of Lester Bowie, Freeman, Arthur Blythe, Kirk Lightsey and Don Moye. Unspoken showcases McBee’s current working band performing the bassist’s bluesy, angular compositions.
Trumpeter James Zollar and alto saxophonist Randall Connors create plenty of fire throughout. Connors’ forays bring the great James Spaulding to mind. In fact, the tunes and playing may remind you of some of the late 60’s Blue Note recordings that included Spaulding, Freddie Hubbard, Elvin Jones and, of course, Cecil McBee. Drummer Matt Wilson adds equal parts intensity and fun, at one point vocally encouraging the horn men to "tell ‘em about it!" The focus is on the tunes and the band. McBee lets his band mates shine on his excellent compositions. Unspoken is a satisfying statement from a true jazz legend and his talented sidemen.
I love jazz because it’s what sounds
I was first exposed to jazz in my
parents household and in school
I appreciate many styles of jazz
and shy away from really outside
stuff. I enjoy relating to the
One of the best shows I ever
attended was 1975 Chick Corea’s
Return To Forever tour at an
intimate venue in downtown
The first jazz record I bought was
Herbie Hancock’s Chameleon.
My advice to new listeners is try
several styles before you decide
what jazz is all about!
Listen to music daily and stay open