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Charlie Shoemake: Uncrowned Kings

Vibist Shoemake appears in two trios here, one with guitarist Bruce Forman and bassist Fred Atwood, the other with bassist Luther Hughes and drummer Paul Kreibich. The CD title refers to the composers of the fine but seldom-heard tunes employed by Shoemake-Jimmy Raney’s “Motion,” Hank Mobley’s “Avila and Tequila,” Kenny Dorham’s “Minor’s Holiday,” and Sonny Clark’s “Royal Flush,” for example. Even when Shoemake plays the Dixieland-associated “Way Down Yonder in New Orleans” and “Struttin’ With Some Barbecue” they sound fresh and contemporary.

Everyone makes impressive contributions. Shoemake plays imaginatively and puts his spots together so that their continuity never flags. Foster also turns in thoughtful, tasty solos, and Atwood, Hughes and Kreibich are right on the money with their propulsive, unobtrusive rhythm section work.

Originally Published