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Kirk Lightsey: Goodbye Mr. Evans

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Goodbye Mr. Evans, a trio date, has several features to recommend it: the lead piano of Lightsey, a typically elegant musical godson of Hank Jones and Tommy Flanagan; an introduction to the excellent bass work of a young Hungarian named Tibor Elekes; a chance to hear F. Don Moye, long-time drummer with the Art Ensemble of Chicago, playing a “straight” set (as he does with Lightsey and pal Bowie in The Leaders); a genuinely relaxed mood; above average material.

Best of all is the room the three take to stretch without letting things sag. That happens when a leader can confidently let his guys take key solos that go places: Elekes’ opener on Jimmy Heath’s “A New Blue,” Moye’s glue that joins hands and dances through a speedy suite of jazz classics by E. Harris, Shorter, “Temptation,” Coltrane. (Moye also walks in a loose Monk tune, shuffles quickstep brushes in a surprise intro to Lightsey’s laid-back “Habiba,” and finds coconut colors and cowbells to shade Elekes’ solo and ostinato basslines.)

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