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October 1998

Tony Reedus
The Far Side
Evidence Music

Recorded a decade ago, this was drummer Reedus's debut as a leader. For the date he hired pianist Mulgrew Miller, bassist Charnette Moffett, and, on four of the 10 cuts, tenor and soprano saxophonist Bill Evans. Throughout the album, Reedus is a take-charge presence, but, at the same time, he does not tread on his sidemen. He rolls out some heavy thunder on the title track, an up-tempo original. He's appropriately sensitive on "Never Let Me Go," a trio track. On "You and the Night and the Music," another trio cut, he trades "fours" smartly in a cadential, parade drums style.

Miller is superb throughout the album. He and the drummer (and Moffett, as well) make a good match in terms of the weight of their attack, the density of their phrases, and the joy of their swing. Evans, steeped in the burning, Brecker-out-of-Coltrane school of tenor, shows up well here, too.

Originally published in October 1998
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