January/February 1998

Terell Stafford
Centripetal Force
Candid Records

Terell Stafford has given himself a variety of settings in which to be heard-and appreciated. He is a fine trumpet player, with plenty of technique and a bit of musical depth and sensitivity to pull it all together. The basic group here includes Stephen Scott on piano, Ed Howard on bass, and Stafford's longtime collaborator, Victor Lewis, on drums; joining the proceedings to add a particular flavor or voice from piece to piece are saxophonists Ron Blake and Tim Warfield; guitarist Russell Malone; vibist Stefon Harris and percussionist Daniel Moreno; French hornist John Clark contributes to a sextet sound that seems somehow much bigger on Stafford's "Mia." What is clear throughout-aside from the well-known fact that Victor Lewis is going to make things happen-is that Terell Stafford is bursting with musical ideas that emerge in character, in swing, in flight. He may not get as much attention as some of the would-be-Wyntons on the scene, but Terell Stafford is the real thing.

Originally published in January/February 1998
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