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Don Lanphere: Where Do You Start?

Don Lanphere was around during the glory days of bebop, recording with Max Roach and Fats Navarro as early as 1948, and we can still look forward to new music from the 75-year old tenor player. His latest, Where Do You Start? (Origin), recorded with his youthful group of regular band members, once again demonstrates his staying power. This collection of standards and originals provides opportunities for Lanphere to show off his mellow Lesterian tone on reflective ballads like “Cottage for Sale” as well as his command of double-time, hard-charging bop, as on bassist Doug Miller’s “Wilke’s Grin.” Trombonist Jeff Hay exhibits a beautiful high-register sound, especially on Miller’s slow “Ming’s Dream,” as well as an impressive technique. Lanphere brings out his soprano for an easy-going, melodic improvisation on “Ming’s Dream,” which also features a brief but nice bowed solo by Miller himself. Cornetist Jonathan Pugh and pianist Marc Seales also display sensitivity and fine hard-bop chops. Miller and drummer John Bishop provide a solid underpinning.

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