aec.sys3021.2 5/25/04 New
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Review Text Barron's quintet here with Anne Drummond on alto and flute, drummer Kim Thompson, Kiyoshi Kitagawa on bass, and vibraphonist Stefon Harris is a powerhouse of lyrical and percussive counterpoint and exotic voices. One listen to Barron's "Jasmine Flower," with its Eastern melody and exceptional interplay between the pianist and Harris' vibes that is knotty but never jagged, is enough to convince. Elsewhere, as on Harris' "The Lost Ones," where Barron's middle register ostinati are given free rein to punctuate the skeletal melody and warm texture of the tune's body, is so elegant it's moving. The lilting flute line played by Drummond, just ahead of the impressionistic beat and highlighted by the vibes, makes this an amiable yet compelling listen. This is followed with a wonderfully light-touched read of Bud Powell's "Hallucinations." Barron's touch is breezy and effective; he gets to the complex lyric fragments in the center of the structure and trots them out for the band's interaction. Harris' solo has just the right tautness to keep it grounded and pulsing. The reading of Wayne Shorter's "Footprints" extrapolates the Latin melody from the tune's heart and makes it a rhythmic construct with Barron and Harris winding around Kitagawa in an easy but swirling pace to the top of the figure and then into the maelstrom of the solo exchanges. In sum, this is another fine date by a pianist who seems to restlessly climb another rung with every outing even though he has been at the top of his game for decades. ~ Thom Jurek

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. So It Seems - 4:12
  2. 2. Jasmine Flower - 6:47
  3. 3. Inside Out - 7:35
  4. 4. Lost Ones - 7:04
  5. 5. Hallucinations - 4:00
  6. 6. Song for Abdullah - 7:46
  7. 7. Footprints - 7:12
  8. 8. Marie Laveau - 8:40
  9. 9. Miss Missy - 5:21
  10. 10. Images - 18:02

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