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Marcus Printup: The New Boogaloo

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.

Lewis’ comprehensive knowledge of jazz piano styles complements his huge technique and a melodic inventiveness that is especially strong on “Soul Waltz.” Another impressive young player, George Colligan, is the pianist on three of the album’s nine tracks, including the only standards, “In a Sentimental Mood” and the rapid “Speak Low,” a romp that is a blowing highlight of the CD. There is no pianist on “Printupian Prance,” a tribute to Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry. Gordon and Blanding, colleagues of Printup in the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, are strong throughout. Vicente Archer and Donald Edwards provide the solid bass and drums support.

Originally Published