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Pete Barenbregge/Frank Russo: PF Flyer

You don’t hold down the jazz tenor chair in the Air Force’s stellar Airmen of Note without having a lot going for you. For many years, Pete BarenBregge did just that. Moreover, Frank Russo, his co-leader on PF Flyer, played drums for years with the first-class Naval Academy ensembles, and their pianist, Fred Hughes, played a featured role with the Army’s top-of-the-line Jazz Ambassadors. With the help of Washington-area bassists Tom Cecil or Steve Zerlin, these military-music veterans constitute a formidable mainstream quartet. Their set of cleverly arranged standards and attractive originals-four by Hughes and one by BarenBregge-showcases confident, polished playing that would rate highly anywhere. BarenBregge, the most out-front of the soloists, swings through the up tunes with assurance and approaches the ballads with refined expressiveness. As the other primary improviser, the versatile Hughes generates great interest and excitement.

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