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Anthony Branker & Ascent: Dance Music

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Composer Anthony Branker presides over a talented crew of alto saxophonist Tia Fuller, tenor saxophonist Ralph Bowen, trombonist Clifford Adams Jr., pianist Jonny King, bassist Kenny Davis, guitarist Freddie Bryant and drummer Adam Cruz. On the McCoy Tyner-ish opener, “The Renewal,” Fuller, Adams and King step out from the fray as potent soloists. Bassist Davis and drummer Cruz provide the bounce on the funky “Dance Music,” and the horn players stretch further on the kinetic romp “The House of the Brotherhood of the Black Heads.” Guitarist Bryant is featured along with Bowen on “Truth,” while vocalist-lyricist Kadri Voorand lends a classy touch to the expressive ballad “Mysterious Ways” and the elegant waltz-time number “The Holy Innocent.”