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Vincent Herring: Ends and Means

This is a thoroughly enjoyable record: memorable melodies, a top-notch rhythm section and a saxophonist who plays his instrument like a man who’s having a good time. Vincent Herring was a protégé of Nat Adderley, and you can hear Cannonball in Herring’s nice round tone and soulful approach.

A solid piece of postbop starts things off with the title track, written by a former Herring sideman. Herring is jubilant, playing with optimism over a light, airy rhythm section. He gets into a funky groove on “Tom Tom,” one of two tunes contributed by drummer Joris Dudli, a hip-hop-influenced player who drops out the snare here and there in favor of the kick drum. Bassist Essiet Essiet, miked extremely well, turns in a terrific solo on “Tom Tom,” thwacking the heck out of the strings and eliciting a nice wood sound.

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