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Chuck Redd: The Common Thread

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Chuck Redd is a deft, subtle vibraphonist who surrounds himself with equally talented and experienced musicians. He’s the equivalent of a midlist author: no blockbuster but dependable and reassuring. The Common Thread is enjoyable for its skillful blend of imagination and modesty.

Propelled by similarly light-fingered drummer Mickey Roker and the highly selective bassist Bob Cranshaw, Redd turns in standards spanning a luminous, watery “The Shadow of Your Smile” and a seductive “Moonlight in Vermont”; should-be standards like Ellington’s sultry “Purple Gazelle” and Tommy Flanagan’s breakneck “Beat’s Up” (cool pun), a showcase for the rhythm section, particularly the nicely florid pianist Rossano Sportiello; and revamps like “Old Man Roker,” Redd’s tribute to his drummer and “Ol’ Man River” scribe Jerome Kern. Soul saxman Houston Person lends earthiness and funk to four selections.

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