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George Schuller’s Circle Wide: Round Repertory

George Schuller

Themed tribute CDs have become a popular way for modern jazz artists and recording labels to produce more “hits,” at least those of the Internet era’s search-engine variety. For Brooklyn-based drummer George Schuller’s band, Circle Wide, tributes have less to do with marketing and more with heartfelt homage and challenging music.

Since forming in 1999, the group has released two such CDs-a 2003 Miles Davis tribute called Round ‘Bout Now, and the new Keith Jarrett tribute Like Before, Somewhat After-for guitarist Michael Musillami’s label, Playscape Recordings. Each features cover tunes, plus the drummer’s compositions, since they’re attempts to show the influence of transitional eras within those artists’ careers rather than exactingly replicate highlights from their catalogs.

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