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Sharp Nine Class of 2001: On the Loose

Despite the generally conservative stylistic framework of the compositions and playing throughout On the Loose, the disc proves more than just a decent presentation from a talented group of professionals. Rather it’s an indication that despite the general gloom and doom one encounters almost daily from some observers regarding the contemporary jazz scene, fresh voices are in fact emerging.

The Sharp Nine Class of 2001 sextet includes two topflight players in the Strickland brothers-saxophonist Marcus and drummer E.J.-and four other good soloists and accompanists who might eventually evolve into exemplary players. In addition, the eight selections are uniformly entertaining and energetically played, with no song bogging down into routine blowing. Also, this is a truly co-operative unit rather than a bandleader’s showcase. Solos are nicely distributed, and the ensemble sound is polished and cohesive.

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