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The John Hicks Legacy Band: Mind Wine: The Music of John Hicks

The title of this richly deserved tribute session is a bit misleading, for in addition to seven pieces composed by the late pianist John Hicks, the program closes with a flute-limned performance of Duke Ellington’s “Single Petal of a Rose.” It’s a nice touch, and a fitting coda, too, considering how the Ellington-Strayhorn songbook consistently inspired Hicks over the years.

Hicks, who died in 2006, also knew a thing or two about how to fashion a tribute recording worthy of its subject-witness his salutes to Strayhorn and Mary Lou Williams, among others. Whether Hicks would have chosen the pieces included here is anyone’s guess, but it’s hard to imagine him not being delighted by the lineup: pianist Larry Willis, flutist Elise Wood-Hicks (the pianist’s widow), saxophonist Craig Handy, trumpeter Eddie Henderson, bassist Curtis Lundy and drummer Steve Williams.

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