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Steve Korn: Here and Now

Stereotypes be damned: Drummers can be creative spark plugs at the head of a band, regardless of where they sit on stage. Sometimes, they’re blessed with a greater sense of musical overview than other instrumentalists. It makes sense, coming from musicians who juggle support and expression on a continuous basis. Two recent releases by lesser-known drummer-leaders worth watching sport an impressive overall musicality. Steve Korn’s debut album as a leader, recorded in Seattle, is a sleek quintet setting, with the two-horn frontline of trumpeter Jim Knapp and saxist Rob Davis, favoring understatement over bombast. Korn contributes three compositions and includes covers like John Scofield’s “V.” and Tony Williams’ “Pee Wee,” a tender and slightly enigmatic waltz given the proper degrees of air and repose, nodding to the mid-’60s Miles Davis Quintet model.

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