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Light, Advanced Hard Bop Great For Late Night Listening.....
Robert J. Ament | Ballwin, MO United States | 07/13/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"as I found out by selecting this while not being able to sleep at 3 o'clock on a Sunday morning.This is the debut recording as a leader for Marcus Roberts and besides his piano stylings features some great support from Wynton Marsalis, the tenors of either Charlie Rouse or Todd Williams, and excellent rhythm from Elvin Jones on drums and Reginald Veal on bass.The opener, "The Arrival", is the first of five originals and features fine muted work by Wynton Marsalis. The rhythm section is in excellent form throughout this one with the selection ending with some great light drum work by Elvin Jones as an unusual finish."Blue Monk",the first of two solo selections, opens with a salute to the composers style and then transitions into a grand tour of stride piano techniques."Maurella" is a real soulful composition introducing the tenor work of Todd Williams."Single Petal Of A Rose" is the other piano solo of the album and is handled with reverence, displaying the beauty of this Ellington composition."Country By Choice" returns us to up-tempo and the introduction of Charlie Rouse on tenor."In A Mellow Tone" is the second Ellington composition and a favorite of mine regardless of who is playing it."Nothing But The Blues" is a good selection for a spirited closer.Not everyone will like this album.......but I've had it for a long time and it has grown on me. The talent of the artists is undeniable, the music provides a variety of moods, the arrangements for a small group are excellent, and I probably gave it more of my listening attention (and appreciation) at this particular time of the early morning than ever before."