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July/August 2006

Vince Ector
Renewal of the Spirit
Mambo Maniacs

A reliably swinging sideman whose bandstand experience includes stints with Charles Earland, Freddie Hubbard, Grover Washington Jr. and Shirley Scott, Ector covers a variety of drumming styles on his second outing as a leader. With a dynamic frontline of underrated tenor saxophonist Jay Collins and trumpeter Eddie Allen alongside pianist John di Martino and bassist Leon Lee Dorsey, Ector steers a diverse course that runs the gamut from ballads to blues to bossa nova and hard bop. Special guest Bobby Watson lends his big-toned alto sax to two cuts here in Ector’s Latin-flavored title track and a propulsive, freewheeling sax-drum encounter, “The Call.”

While the drummer is clearly in the comfort zone when swinging, ably demonstrated on his Messengers-flavored “Melly’s Blues” and his invigorating shuffle-swing number “Moving On,” he stretches into some different territory on a sensitive reading of Jobim’s pensive ballad “Luiza” as well as on interpretations of Herbie Hancock’s ethereal “Butterfly” and Wayne Shorter’s metrically shifting “Night Dreamer.” The Philly native showcases some of his most melodic playing on a brisk clave-fueled rendition of “My Foolish Heart,” then closes out his sophomore session with a spirited solo drum showcase, “For Our Fathers.”

Originally published in July/August 2006
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