January/February 1997

Leonard Hochman
Manhattan Morning
Jazzheads Records

Leonard Hochman, where have you been? This CD, Hochman's second as a leader, reveals him as a thoughtful, often inspired soloist, leading an extraordinary ensemble through a set of well-made tunes-the better to support well-made solos from the quintet at hand. Hochman carries a big sound on tenor, somewhat reminiscent of Paul Gonsalves; that character translates well to bass clarinet, Hochman's alter axe, where the combination of Hochman's phrasing andd soft attack gives him a distinctive sound. Kenny Barron leads the rhythm section with the artistry and sense of form that continue to elude so many younger players. Joe Locke on vibes adds considerable harmonic color and a range of embellishments that more than make up int interest what they sometimes lack in subtlety. The pulse is in excellent hands, with Harvey Swartz on bass and Victor Lewis on drums. We may hope there's more where this came from. - Bill Bennett

Originally published in January/February 1997
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