June 2005

Steve Hobbs
Spring Cycle
Random Choice

Ever listen to a CD filled with well-played music by first-rate, dedicated musicians whose credentials should justify its purchase and have to wait, and keep waiting, for something to happen? Vibist Steve Hobbs assembled a stellar group that includes trumpeter Tom Harrell, flutist Dave Valentin, tenorist Bob Malach and bassist Peter Washington for Spring Cycle (Random Chance). It's an adequate session, but one that lacks visceral excitement despite heroic efforts from Washington and drummer John Riley. Each track, except a blazing "On the Street Where You Live" and a cooking take on John Coltrane's "Mr. PC," is too mellow. Hobbs wrote five tunes, the best being "Spring Cycle" and "Jean," which both boast great changes, and pianist Bill O'Connell contributes three songs, the most imaginative being "Marionettes."

Originally published in June 2005
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