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Marcus Printup: Homage

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Marcus Printup goes the tribute album route on Homage, saluting 11 trumpet kings who have influenced and inspired him. It’s the kind of project that must be hard to resist for young veterans like him who have had the time to absorb those influences and want to give something back to their idols. The challenge is to unify diverse styles and sounds into a personal statement, and to avoid creative holding patterns.

The 45-year-old trumpeter is at his best with songs in his hard-bop wheelhouse, including Freddie Hubbard’s buoyant, funkified “Mr. Clean” and Lee Morgan’s bright, streaming “Mr. Kenyatta.” Printup also fares well with a pair of ballads: Roy Hargrove’s wistful “Liquid Streets” and Woody Shaw’s Mingus-like “Theme for Maxine,” which draws heat from tenor saxophonist Greg Tardy’s reliable intensity, a fire that splits the difference between John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter.

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