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December 1998

Adonis Rose
Song for Donice
Criss Cross Jazz

This is an album by trumpeter Nicholas Payton's quintet led by its drummer. Rose has a clean, swinging style that suggests drummers such as Jimmy Cobb, Shelly Manne, and Art Blakey as well as Tony Williams. He gets a hip sound out of his set, and his dynamics and touch are tasteful.

The group-Rose, Payton, tenor saxophonist Tim Warfield, pianist Anthony Wonsey, and bassist Reuben Rogers- sounds Blue Note-ish and sometimes Miles-ish (mid-'60s variety). Payton has achieved a kind of fluency now that allows him to really sing on his instrument. Warfield is still a little too close to Wayne Shorter for my taste. I mean, I dug Wayne when he was happening, but it's time for today's young tenor men to move on. Wonsey swings surely, making the light, bluesy Ahmad Jamal-Wynton Kelly connection. And Rogers maintains a good groove.

We get five originals and three standards on the album. Rose has done well to choose familiar bandmates for his personnel. A fine album.

Originally published in December 1998
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