It’s not until the very last song, “The Face I Love,” that a consistent spark can be felt throughout an entire track on Hopes and Dreams. There’s a good reason for that too: That song is an outtake from Veneration, Escoffery’s exceptional live album recorded in 2006 at the New York club Smoke. Why that fire doesn’t transfer to the studio except on scattered moments is a mystery, as the basic team is the same: Escoffery on tenor saxophone, Joe Locke on vibes, Hans Glawischnig on bass and Lewis Nash on drums for most of the tracks. Johnathan Blake replaces Nash on three numbers and the entire album also features the usually exceptional but rather understated Tom Harrell on trumpet (he also contributes flugelhorn to three tracks).
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