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Hush Point: Blues and Reds

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Hailing as it does from within the notably exploratory Brooklyn scene, an album as appealingly old-school as Hush Point’s Blues and Reds is an unexpected surprise. Substitute a baritone saxophone for Jeremy Udden’s alto, and this sophomore effort from the pianoless quartet could almost be mistaken for a lost recording from the classic Gerry Mulligan/Chet Baker foursome that helped define the cool subgenre.

Blues and Reds maintains a consistently mellow tone, muted but swinging. Udden and trumpeter John McNeil never overdo the bop histrionics as they weave an emphatic yet delicate groove through 10 original compositions: five by Udden, four by McNeil and one, the sharp-edged, loping “Scuffle,” by bassist Aryeh Kobrinsky. Udden’s breathy romanticism and the deft mallet work of drummer Anthony Pinciotti lend Udden’s “Dreams” a swoony midnight feel, while McNeil’s tastefully charging horn drives his composition “HDMB.” (The press notes indicate that the acronymic title stands for either “Highly Derivative Minor Blues” or “Hello Dave Matthews Band.”)

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