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Mike Freeman: Wiggle Stomp

For a long time, Freeman has been obsessed with the wide variety of rhythms and percussive techniques common to all forms of Latin American music, and his work here clearly reflects that fascination. Of his 12 numbers, most adhere to that persuasion. Abetted by guitarist Bruce Saunders, who is also heard frequently in solo, electric bassist Kip Reed, acoustic bassist Harvie Swartz, three Latin percussionists and the sadly under-miked tenorman Dave Peterson, for the most part Freeman offers a functional program of varied dance party themes. Only the balladic “Rain” and the slow jazz blues, “Omaha Freeload,” depart from the Caribbean and South American flavors of the remaining tracks.

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