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June 2004

Graham Breedlove Sextet
Coming Home
Summit

Graham Breedlove's Coming Home (Summit) begins with the bang of "Grant Street," an involved uptempo piece that buffets the listener with a full-bodied sextet sound. Seven more originals follow, demonstrating Breedlove's talent as a trumpeter/fluegelhornist and composer, not to mention a leader of a tight, forceful band. Saxophonist Joseph Henson, trombonist Matt Niess and pianist Tony Nalker establish their unassailable blowing credentials early in the game; bassist Jim Roberts and drummer Steve Fidyk never let anyone down. Breedlove has chops but is vigilant about the use of space in his solos. Henson is equally impressive on tenor, alto and soprano. Niess is plainly a monster, whether he's negotiating the blistering blues "Buhaina" or coloring the dark and moody "The Messenger." Dave Brown joins on baritone sax for the finale, "Festival Time in the Ville," swelling the group to a septet and emphasizing this album's core virtue: abundant horns.

Originally published in June 2004
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