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Rob Reddy’s Honor System: Songs You Can Trust

This group has a quirky, interesting sound, sort of like a well-educated garage band. Reddy, who plays alto and soprano, is joined on the front line by trumpeter Eddie Allen and trombonist Josh Roseman, with a rhythm team of Jef Lee Johnson, Dom Richards, and Pheerdan Aklaff on guitar, bass and drums. The horns sound like fairly typical contemporary players, while Johnson uses reference points from rock and elsewhere. He isn’t shy with electric effects but also uses the acoustic guitar imaginatively. The writing is mostly rubato, and two horns often keep blowing slow-moving figures when a third solos. When Aklaff isn’t playing impressionistic fills he lurches into jazz-rock grooves, which isn’t a criticism of the drummer but an observation about the music; sometimes the feel is like driving a car that only goes straight from first to fourth. The slow developing tunes would become ponderous if Reddy didn’t know how to use color and humor effectively.

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