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Evan Christopher, featuring Dick Hyman: Delta Bound

Much more than a collection of sounds here. The liner notes, by Dr. Bruce Boyd Raeburn (yes, Boyd’s son), a jazz curator at Tulane Uni-versity, contain a virtual history of the clarinet in its relation to the music of New Orleans, which is worked into an analysis of the dozen tracks. Those tracks are filled with high-level rapport usually displayed by chamber ensembles. Each member is a highly responsive expert: clarinetist Christopher, pianist Hyman, bassist Bill Huntington and drummer Shannon Powell. Their program is demanding: Only attention to detail would allow them to switch moods, idioms and ethnicity to accommodate the change from quadrilles to Creole, ragtime to choro, traditional to straightahead. If you fail to read Dr. Raeburn’s notes, be assured you can still enjoy the beauty and the swing created by the quartet.

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