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Marquis Hill: Sounds of the City

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On his second album, 25-year-old Chicago trumpeter Marquis Hill is still looking for a sound and sensibility to call his own. But with his confidence and youthful charm, he makes the search itself yield ample rewards. Leading his fine working band, including pianist Joshua Moshier and alto saxophonist Christopher McBride, Hill ranges from catchy hard-bop originals to soulful and Brazilian-style ballads. A stylist in motion, he serves up fat melodic lines, purring plunger tones and snappy unison exchanges. With spoken interludes by singer Milton Suggs (who also turns in a brief vocal), the album aspires to be a unified celebration of life in the Windy City, not just a collection of songs. Hill’s guests include guitarist Bobby Broom, alto saxophonist Greg Ward and vibraphonist Justin Thomas, all of whom make themselves perfectly at home.

Originally Published