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Jon Faddis: Remembrances

“Protege means protected or fostered-and it can be a tough label to grow out from under, as Jon Faddis, long regarded as Dizzy Gillespie’s protege, will attest. But trumpeter Faddis has made it out from under: his work as music director of the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band has brought to light a deep sympathy for this music’s traditions and evolving styles. Here we hear Faddis working through charts by Carlos Franzetti on a set composed mostly of well-known jazz pieces, set for an unusual orchestra: Faddis plus three brass, seven winds and rhythm. Part of the project at hand seems to have been to cast Faddis against type: there’s little sign of the take-no-prisoners virtuoso. In his shoes instead we find an urbane interpreter of choice selections from the canon. Throughout, the key players here are Faddis, who spends most of his time on fluegelhorn, and Franzetti, the architect of a lush sound that draws clear inspiration from Gil Evans without even challenging the listener too much. Paquito d’Rivera contributes a winning clarinet solo as well on “In Her Own Sweet Way.”

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