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Brooklyn Jazz Underground: Seven By Seven

First, a little explanation is in order. As a quintet-David Smith (trumpet), Adam Kolker (reeds), Dan Pratt (reeds), Anne Mette Iversen (bass) and Rob Garcia (drums)-Brooklyn Jazz Underground recorded A Portrait of Brooklyn in 2012 and released it on their own BJU Records. For this second outing, Pratt is gone, the others remain, and the addition of vocalist Tammy Scheffer, pianist David Cook and second drummer Owen Howard swells the group to a septet. Each member contributes two original compositions, raising the question of why the album isn’t titled 14 by Seven, but never mind that. Be glad for the bounty.

A collective through and through, Brooklyn Jazz Underground is a band of equals, its greatest strength the ability of each component to both lead and support. There’s a multitude of styles vying for representation within, contributed by individuals whose visions might normally be quite dissimilar but who happily find camaraderie for the occasion. Seven by Seven sounds not like a label sampler that happens to feature the same musicians on each track, but a potent, full-bodied ensemble creation.

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