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Gerry Hemingway Quintet: Waltzes, Two-Steps, and Other Matters of the Heart

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Very similar to Max Roach, George Russell, Jack DeJohnette and Bobby Previte, Gerry Hemingway is a jazz drummer who displays an exemplary level of compositional acumen. On this latest album, he aptly balances improvisational guile with superb script, resulting in a haunting collection of freewheeling third-stream songs.

Hemingway’s writing sometimes echoes that of cornetist and composer Lawrence “Butch” Morris and composer Gunther Schuller, in that they often progress in an extended suite-like manner. Compositions like the secretive “Gilar” and the jovial “Gospel Waltz” feature Hemingway’s patented shadowy melodies and whimsical rhythmic figures. With the intriguing frontline of reedsman Michael Moore and trombonist Wolter Wierbos, and the rhythm section grounded by Hemingway, bassist Mark Dresser and cellist Ernst Reijseger, the quintet crafts spacious soundscapes that are at once earthy and ethereal.

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