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Rodney Whitaker: Hidden Kingdom

A clear sense of direction is missing in the writing and ensemble performances on this album. Blakey’s Jazz Messengers seem to be the strongest influence, with a little Mingus thrown in. The leader, a bassist and Oscar Pettiford fan, wrote five of the ten tunes, and various sidemen contributed four others. Fourteen musicians, including trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, saxophonists Ron Blake and James Carter, pianist Peter Martin and drummer Gregory Hutchinson, appear in different combinations.

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