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Nick Brignola: Tour de Force

Tour de Force is more than a title; it describes just about every one of the nine tracks of Brignola’s 21st album as a leader (and 10th for Reservoir.) Brignola enjoys maximum freedom on the CD, which is devoid of piano. His backing includes bassist Eddie Gomez, a complete rhythm section by himself, guitarist Chuck D’Aloia and drummer Bill Stewart. Percussionist Cafe guests on three tracks.

Brignola shines throughout, from the album-opening study in pedal point (basically one change), Dave Holland’s folkish “Backwoods Song,” to his own grooving original “Local Motion.” And from the way-up hard-edged bop of Charlie Parker’s “Donna Lee” and the sensuous, Latin treatment of Brubeck’s “In Your Own Sweet Way,” with its wondrous changes, to the down and dirty Harry “Sweets” Edison blues “Centerpiece” and the free-form explorations of “Labyrinth,” another well-named Brignola original, Tour de Force is a of tour of greatness.

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