No Problem (Jpn)

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aec.imt5076536sacd 3/25/16 New
$64.99

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Review Text One for All have been an active New York City-based collective with fairly steady personnel except for the bass chair, which has rotated between several players. On this 2003 session for the Japanese Venus label, Ray Drummond joins tenorist Eric Alexander, trombonist Steve Davis, trumpeter Jim Rotondi, pianist David Hazeltine, and drummer Joe Farnsworth, the latter members all being part of the core group back to its creation in the mid-'90s. Most of the selections on this date are associated with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, having been written for the late drummer's band or popularized by him, while the band's name was the title of Blakey's final CD as a leader. It's easy to imagine Blakey digging Farnsworth's cooking tribute "Our Father Who Art Blakey." Duke Jordan's "No Problem" was a part of the Blakey repertoire during the late '50s; this arrangement gives it a decidedly Latin flavor. Hazeltine's soft touch in "Moanin'" is a refreshing change from the often heavy-handed interpretations. The exuberant "Time Off" sounds like it should have been a set closer, but this furious piece works regardless of its placement in the program, highlighted by Davis' blistering solo. For a change of pace, there's a lush treatment of Duke Ellington's "Prelude to a Kiss," showcasing a passionate Alexander solo. ~ Ken Dryden

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3/25/16 

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