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Bruce Williams: Brotherhood

A product of his times, young altoman Bruce Williams openly admits to being inspired by everyone and everything from Grover Washington, Jr., to Jackie McLean to hip hop, and that’s probably okay. At least, it’s in sync with today’s standards of performance expectations. However, the fact that he presents all of these, as well as other, influences on his style with an unappealingly thin tone and an uncomfortably flat pitch makes his sound less than acceptable, at least at this point in his development, to listeners with a sensitivity to tempered intonation and pleasing sonority. Trumpeter Russell Gunn, who plays on all but two of the 12 tracks, is far better in this regard, his centrally pitched work, clean articulation, and logically structured ideas being of the standard expected of one who has presumably spent more than just a few hours with his Messengers source-handbook. Pianist Alan Palmer, bassist Dwayne Dolphin, and drummer Cecil Brooks III fill out the personnel.

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