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Howard Alden: Take Your Pick

Alden is certainly a masterful guitarist. You can hear how well he extends the George Van Eps solo approach on two tracks here, and how he handles a group situation with Lew Tabackin (tenor, flute), Renee Rosnes (piano), Michael Moore (bass), and Bill Goodwin (drums) on the rest. The solo tracks are especially well done, but this record stands out from standard mainstream fare because of Tabackin’s hard-edged sound and the excellent choice of tunes. Indeed, the inclusion of two Herbie Nichols pieces makes this release an occasion-the first ever mainstream Herbie other than Lady Sings the Blues. And these two tracks really sound great. Hopefully Alden & Co. will continue in this direction.

Originally Published