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Helen Sung: Anthem for a New Day

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You could put together a line item description of this album that would fit a significant percentage of current jazz releases. Band: ad hoc. Tunes: mostly originals, a few standards. Genre: new-millennium mainstream. Bases: covered (Monk, Afro-Latin, ballads, burners). Extras: some famous guests.

But the devil is always in the details. Anthem for a New Day is exceptionally tight, smart and intense. It jolts out of your speakers (or, nowadays, your earbuds) from the opening bars of the opening track, “Brother Thelonious.” Pianist Helen Sung, tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake and trumpeter Ingrid Jensen careen together over the spiky theme. Then they all solo like their hair is on fire, but concisely.

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