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Various Artists: One World

New York City bassist Andy McKee is probably best known for his work with Elvin Jones as well as with the Mingus Big Band, but for One World (CAP) he’s assembled a quartet with reedist Alex Foster, vibist and marimba player Joe Locke and drummer Idris Muhammad. Several selections also feature either Milton Cardona or Badal Roy sitting in on conga or tabla. Foster rips an impassioned tenor sax solo on the churning Afro-Cuban “Finders Keepers,” takes his piccolo to Appalachia for a new arrangement based on a traditional “Folk Song” and plays a dramatic bass-clarinet solo on the cinematic fantasy “Earth Sign.” Muhammad demonstrates once again why he’s one of the great drummers today with his all-too-brief solo on “Fire Sign,” and he has an amazing moment when the group goes to half time during the vibe solo on “Ife’s Dance.” The disc ends with McKee bowing in duet with pianist Kenny Werner on a heartfelt “Prayer.”

Originally Published