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JC Hopkins Biggish Band featuring Queen Esther: Underneath a Brooklyn Moon

Rossini once wrote, “Wagner has some good minutes, but boring hours.” That quip comes to mind regarding this project. There are good moments here, but they happen despite JC Hopkins’ conceptions. He features a fine singer, Queen Esther, plus a few good sidemen among the 13 taking part-and weighs them down with original material that seldom exceeds mediocrity. His songs lack form, often sounding like he’s glued melodies to already-existing poems. The worst lyrics out of the nine tunes are by Norah Jones on “One Never Knows,” and that one is as weak as JC’s only stab at words, on the title tune.

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