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November 1997

Dennis Rowland
Now Dig This: A Vocal Celebration of Miles Davis
Concord Jazz

Dennis Rowland more than proved his jazz-cum-blues credentials during a seven-year stint with the Count Basie Band (1977-1984), and in his Rhyme, Rhythm & Reason and Get Here.

Now, in his third Concord outing, Rowland shows off a savvy prowess that certifies him a bonafide jazz singer. To make his case, Rowland proffers nothing less than, says the subtitle, "A Vocal Celebration of Miles Davis." An audacious move, yes, but one, that by focusing on Davis-inflected classics from the 1950s and early-1960s, pays dividends.

With hand-in-glove support by pianist Joe Sample, drummer Gregg Field and bassist Chuck Berghofer, Rowland's supple baritone waxes lyrical with ballads like "My Ship" and "Easy Living." On "All Blues," Rowland proves equally adept with the "instrumental" side of the Davis persona. The jazz end is further intensified through pungent cameos by trumpeters Wallace Roney and Sal Marquez and tenorman Terry Harrington. In all, an appealing album by an appealing singer.

Originally published in November 1997
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