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Marcus Roberts Nonet: Deep in the Shed: A Blues Suite

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Reinterpreting one’s own album isn’t as odd as it seems; after all, it happens with songs all the time. What is remarkable, however, is listening back to Roberts’ original Deep in the Shed from 1990 and realizing how beholden it is to Ellington. The 2013 rendition, by contrast, sounds like a Marcus Roberts album-a good one.

It marks Roberts’ increased pianistic confidence over 20-plus years: Tunes like “The Governor” and “Spiritual Awakening” feature a lighter touch, cleaner lines, chords less nakedly derivative of Ellington and Monk. More important, Roberts’ influences have broadened. His interest in traditional jazz appears in the horn lines of “Mysterious Interlude,” and some collective improv pops up in “E. Dankworth”-formerly a trumpet feature for Wynton Marsalis, now including solo space for everyone.

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