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Hal Crook: Hero Worship

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Working in conjunction with only Mick Goodrick’s supple guitar and the drums of longtime post-bop favorite Paul Motian, Hal Crook, perhaps the silkiest trombonist of this generation, introduces here five of his own compositions along with his highly idiosyncratic interpretations of “Night And Day,” “My Funny Valentine,” “You Do Something To Me” and Steve Swallow’s “Falling Grace.” The basic trio is good enough on its own, but Crook also chose to expand its timbre by using a five-voice digital harmonizer in sync with his horn, the aural results of which will determine either the success or failure of these efforts with his targeted audience. Following the almost unlistenable “Teen Mind,” with its title accurately portending the blood-curdling chaos within, Motian’s beautiful “Cathedral Song” is a heaven-sent relief, however brief. The artificially programmed brass section on “My Funny Valentine” and “Hero Worship” is passably acceptable, but the novelty aspect of this sound wears exceedingly thin as time goes on.