Trombonist/composer Roswell Rudd has performed in both Dixieland and free-jazz groups. He’s taught ethnomusicology and has more than a passing knowledge of classical music. And he puts what he knows to work, so that you have to be ready for anything when you listen to one of his albums. On Broad Strokes he concentrates on playing ballads, including a few of his own, plus pieces by Herbie Nichols, Elvis Costello, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Saint Saens (the “Theme from Babe,” which was adapted from his “Third Symphony”), done by groups varying in size from two to 10 instruments. There are vocals on three selections by R&B stylists Christopher Rudd and Steve Riddick, plus Sheila Jordan. The tracks all have something to recommend them, but some are marred.
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