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Rob Brown Quartet: Jumping Off the Page

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Rob Brown is one of the hardest hitting alto players currently on the scene. His slashing, bluesy lines keep the spirit of Jimmy Lyons alive without corroding the conviction that Brown is a fiercely original voice. He is also a fluent composer, who can build provocative pieces from jagged, shard-like motives, and create poignant moods from flowing melodies. Most importantly, he knows how to translate these assets into recordings that are as engrossing on the fifth or sixth listen as they are on the first.

Jumping Off the Page is such an album. Leading a quartet with trumpeter Roy Campbell, bassist Chris Lightcap and drummer Jackson Krall, Brown runs the gamut, from slyly bouncing tunes to thickly textured soundscapes. In addition to the varied compositional propellants supplied by Brown, the smart, agile, occasionally collar-grabbing banter between Brown and his cohorts regularly refocuses the attention of the multitasking listener. Brown and Campbell are particularly intriguing front-line partners, as they both have an undertone of testimony in every note they play.