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July/August 2006

Claudio Roditi
Reflections
Nagel-Heyer

The third CD by this tri-country trio is like the first two: pleasant chamber jazz that won’t register anywhere in your brain. Brazilian trumpeter and flugelhornist Claudio Roditi gets the bigger name on the cover, but eight of the 11 tracks are by German pianist Klaus Ignatzek. Two other tunes are by former Roditi employer Dizzy Gillespie (“Con Alma,” “Ow!”) and one is by Belgian bassist Jean-Louis Rassinfosse, but the whole album flows together like one long cocktail hour.

A few tracks sort of stand out, such as Rassinfosse’s peppy “Soul Mood Song” and Ignatzek’s “One for Chet,” dedicated to trumpeter Baker who led the same kind of drummerless lineup in the 1980s. On the former song the trio shows some verve, with Ignatzek turning in some bluesy piano, and on the latter Roditi evokes the tune’s dedicatee—though not enough to make you wish you had on a Baker album instead.

This sort of CD—easygoing, highly melodic, gently swinging—is impossible to slam; it’s filled with truly lovely music played by three straightahead guys who are undeniably talented and unfailingly pol-ite. But it’s also a hard CD to recommend.

Originally published in July/August 2006
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