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Michael Wolff: Impure Thoughts

Pianist Michael Wolff’s Impure Thoughts explores a Sly Stone/Miles Davis/Joe Zawinul connection. In “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” and “Thank You” Wolff hints briefly at Zawinul’s figure, allowing Alex Foster’s searing alto solo to dominate on the former, his piano exploiting diminished chords on the latter. Miles would have enjoyed the mixture of funk and understatement of “In a Silent Way,” with Foster’s sinuous alto and the delightful starlit passage Wolff finds toward the end of his own solo, and the seamless segue it takes into the title piece’s ruminating extension. Badal Roy and drummer Victor Jones perform expertly throughout, with Frank Colon and Cafe de Silva alternating on percussion.

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