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March 2000

Joe McPhee/Dominic Duval/Jay Rosen
The Watermelon Suite
CIMP Recordings

Duvall shows on The Watermelon Suite just how big his skills are, executing simultaneous upper and bottom register arco work on the "Suite" and, in general, pacing the music with warmth and intelligence. These are sound murals, finding McPhee more understated than usual. Yet, doing "My Funny Valentine" at such a slow pace creates a dirge, for the languid melodic structure the song already has works against this performance style. Once past the head, McPhee delivers reasonably sensitive work. "Solero," by the way, is dedicated to Glenn Spearman.

Originally published in March 2000
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