Drummer T.S. Monk has broadened his pallete, and potentially his appeal, from his former Jazz Messengers flavor, without totally bowing to commercial pressures. The most obvious expansion measures are glossier studio textures, the use of electronic drums, and the employment of vocals. There’s a certain slickness about the production, and the synthetic use of electronic drums raises more questions than it answers in the case of a drummer-led ensemble. The vocals come courtesy of Patricia Barber, who is removed from her chilly, ironic persona for a duet with the leader on “Just a Little Lovin.”
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