This is a strong showing by Marcus Printup following a recording gap of four years since his Hub Songs CD with fellow trumpeter Tim Hagans. Printup’s contemporary attitude and grounding in the small-group jazz of 1960s Blue Note combine in his playing and his compositions. Freddie Hubbard’s influence is apparent in both areas. Whether or not the title tune was intended as homage to Lee Morgan, it summons Morgan’s treatment of this kind of happy, dance-oriented blues, with unrestrained joy in the soloing of Printup, pianist Eric Lewis, tenor saxophonist Walter Blanding and trombonist Wycliffe Gordon. Traces of Morgan, Hubbard, Wynton Marsalis and, possibly, Fats Navarro, color Printup’s solos, but his personality is too strong and his style by now too mature to be dominated by someone else’s conception. His playing on a romantic piece like “Soul Waltz” has a long-lined lyricism that owes little to his primary influences.
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