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Jacam Manricks: Labyrinth

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Australian-born alto saxophonist-composer Jacam Manricks surrounds himself with stellar New York talent on his followup to last year’s impressive Labyrinth. Pianist Gary Versace, bassist Joe Martin, drummer Obed Calvaire, trombonist Alan Ferber and trumpeter Scott Wendholt make strong contributions throughout. From juggling odd meters and angular lines on the title track to blowing over an earthy groove on “Cluster Funk,” to swinging in jaunty midtempo fashion on the Monkish “Slippery,” this flexible crew performs Manrick’s intricate music with skillful aplomb. Elsewhere, Calvaire erupts on the edgy, M-Base-ish “Sketch,” while the leader stretches to Michael Brecker-esque heights on the evocative “Mood Swing.” Manricks also offers a potent take on Eric Dolphy’s “Miss Ann,” and closes in dramatic fashion with the darkly probing “Micro Gravity.”

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