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Orbert Davis: Priority

Some of the biggest, warmest, clearest trumpet and flugelhorn tones these days seem to be coming from Chicago’s Orbert Davis. His second CD, Priority (3Sixteen), reveals just how confident a player he is, obviously content to wail straightahead and surround himself with like-minded swingers. His flexibility with way-up lines and heartfelt blues gives the impression that he has picked up where Nat Adderley left off. The album offers a bit of everything, and everything is first-rate, thanks to the inventive comping of pianist Ryan Cohan and the full-bodied lines of bassist James Cammack. The voicings on “Miles Ahead” are as meaningful as the soloing. Trombonist Tracy Kirk adds considerably to the timbre when blended with Davis. The two appearances by guest vocalist Kurt Elling are excellent-his give and take with Davis on “The Double Blues” is sharp, and he’s particularly wonderful with another vocal guest, Bobbi Wilsyn, for Davis’ sensuous “Midnight in Bahia.” There’s also a great album postscript on Satchmo’s “Weatherbird,” featuring trumpet and piano only, with Davis paying tribute to every trumpeter’s mentor, Louis Armstrong, and Cohan doing likewise for Earl Hines.

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