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Urban Knights: Urban Knights IV

Under the transgenerational wings of legendary pianist Ramsey Lewis and his producer son, Frayne, Urban Knights has made a welcome transformation from a glossy all-star project to a breeding ground (and now showcase) for some first-rate Chicago musicians. On Urban Knights IV (Narada Jazz 70876-15321-2-8; 55:50) the music is still that radio-friendly urban-R&B-contemporary hybrid, but the core quartet of Lewis, keyboardist Kevin Randolph, bassist Sharay Reed and drummer Calvin Rodgers keeps things interesting through accomplished play, complicated rhythms and detailed arrangements that avoid prolonged lapses into the overwrought side of the genre.

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