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Various Artists: West Coast Jazz Summit

Will jazz become a thing of the past once all the greats are dead and gone? These recordings strongly suggest that won’t be the case if Reed and his sizable circle of musical partners have anything to say about it.

Musicale is the more thoroughly creative of the two projects. Primarily devoted to Reed originals, it features two different hand-picked ensembles: His usual working trio (Greg Hutchinson and Ben Wolfe) plus Wycliffe Gordon, and a group comprising Karriem Riggins, Ron Carter, Nicholas Payton, and Wess Anderson. Regardless of the specific company, Reed’s sound is always uncommonly expansive and his playing fluent but grooving. While his technique continually impresses, it’s his phrasing and underlying rhythmic approach that communicate most effectively (“Black, As In Buhaina,” “Longhair’s Rumba,” “Blues To Come”) and encourage beautiful work from Gordon, Payton, and Anderson, who artfully color the compositions with hip ensemble and solo work.

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