The recording sabbatical for Grachan Moncur III has ended. For the first time since 1977 the trombonist/composer has released an album as a leader: Exploration (Capri). Not that Moncur abandoned the jazz scene; for more than two decades he focused on teaching, writing, occasional playing and coping with dental problems. Now he’s back fronting an octet featuring Tim Hagans (trumpet), John Clark (French horn), Gary Bartz (alto sax), Billy Harper (tenor sax), Gary Smulyan (baritone sax), Ray Drummond (bass), Andrew Cyrille (drums) and, on one track, trombonist Dave Woodley. All tunes are early originals by Moncur, and all arrangements are by Mark Masters, who spearheaded this project.
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