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Freddie Hendrix: Jersey Cat

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The initial blast that launches Freddie Hendrix’s solo on “St. Peter’s Walk” serves as a shout that means business. The trumpeter first heard the song on a Louis Hayes album that featured Woody Shaw, and Hendrix’s rapid and concise solo puts him in league with his predecessor. It also sets the bar high for what will come on Jersey Cat.

A strong leader, Hendrix has actually spent more time working as a support player, in settings that range from the Count Basie Orchestra to pop-R&B singer Alicia Keys and most recently with saxophonist Billy Harper’s sextet. Jersey Cat operates within familiar territory, specifically the upbeat style patented by Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Within that style, Hendrix shows great promise as a composer and arranger.

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