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Monk Rowe: Jazz Life

This is a set that captivates, despite a bit of unevenness. Reedman Rowe’s compositions, each dedicated to a jazz great, show an ear for the different idioms they pursue, and his playing is as inventive and apposite. His ensemble for the date includes Wendell Brunious on trumpet and flugelhorn, the (still) great Bill Watrous on trombone, Jerome Richardson on alto sax, with pianist Rick Montalbano, bassist Keter Betts, and drummer Dennis Mackrel in the rhythm section. Special mention for Keter’s playing throughout, and to the group for Junior Mance’s “Harlem Lullaby.”

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