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Randy Porter Trio: Eight Little Feet

This CD does not capture the peaks of intensity and lyricism that Porter has reached in live performance over the past couple of years, but it comes close enough to show why listeners and musicians across the country are talking about the Portland pianist. With the support and collaboration of bassist Bob Magnusson and drummer Joe LaBarbera, Porter plays 10 of his compositions, a piece by John Coltrane and one standard. His arrangement of “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?” assigns the drummer a parade beat and the bassist a sousaphone vamp in the A sections. LaBarbera and Magnusson bring them off as if they had been seasoned in Crescent City brass bands. The contrast between the marching-band funk and the substance of Porter’s modern voicings, hip phrasing and stop-time comping sets up a pattern of tension and release that makes the track one of the most stimulating in the album.

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