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Roy Assaf: Respect Vol. 1

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The “respect” of the title refers to Roy Assaf’s forebears on jazz piano; he honors 10 of them, in chronological order, from Count Basie to Danilo Pérez, before closing out with a pair of originals. His song choices are unconventional-sometimes to a fault, as the deservedly obscure “Brake’s Sake” may be the least Monkish tune Monk ever penned-but the performances, most by a stellar trio including bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Greg Hutchinson, are almost uniformly smart and inspiring. Rogers, best known for long associations with first Nicholas Payton and now Charles Lloyd, has never sounded more bold and vibrant.

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