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Fred Hess and Boulder Creative Music Ensemble: North Street Park

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BCME, directed by tenor saxophonist Hess, proves that jazz on the edge doesn’t have to be a battle with the inexpressible-that even in its explosiveness and unpredictability there can be a level of stasis that’s alluring to the most unacquainted fan. The musical ideas are launched in a historical context, with most cuts starting and ending on familiar ground.

This recording, a follow-up to the group’s first release, Between the Lines, features elaborately constructed nods to Duke Ellington on “Loose Leaves” and Lester Young on “After the Leap.” The ensemble throw themselves into “Clarinade,” emphasizing their devotion to collective creativity, and it proves to be an excellent springboard for their ideas.