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January/February 1998

Bob Mamet
Adventures in Jazz
Atlantic Records

Packed with lightly urban grooves and notably radio-friendly melodic hooks, Bob Mamet's Adventures in Jazz (Atlantic 83035-2; 40:14) may be his most "mainstream" contemporary jazz outing yet-but the talented pianist's musicianship, and propensity for splashing his compositions with warm acoustic colors, keep his work above the level of the pack. Mamet's freewheeling acoustic piano figures on the urban-tinged pieces (including "News From the Blues" and Citysong," which features Eric Marienthal on a charming alto sax melody) keep things elegant and non-cliched. David Benoit is a collaborator here, and his stickier style turns up on "Conversation at 29th Street" and "At Midnight"-but Mamet's surprises stand out: like the marching, bluesy piano jam on "Austin Bound," and the explorative suite, "Six Stories" (separated into parts one-three and four-six) which covers Mamet's many moods-from swinging, to contemplative-in the album's jazziest (and most adventurous) settings.

Originally published in January/February 1998
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