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The New World Jazz Composers Octet: Breaking News

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Tight, crisp compositions like Matthew Nicholl’s swinging opener “Poco Picasso,” Richard Lowell’s surging two-tenor hard-bop romp “Warp 7, Now!” and Walter Platt’s Basie-esque title track prove potent vehicles for the third release by this Boston-based collective under the direction of saxophonist-flutist Daniel Ian Smith. Nicholl’s sublime “Wishful Thinking” is a sweet showcase for Smith’s tenor and Ken Cervenka’s trumpet. Other highlights include Felipe Salles’ swirling, mood-shifting “Children’s Waltz” and Jeff Friedman’s “Song Sung Long,” on which Smith’s young daughter Catherine recites Paul Haines’ text. But the centerpiece is Ted Pease’s “Trilogy,” with its dedications to Thad Jones, Billy Strayhorn and Bill Holman. Intelligent writing, brilliant arranging and tight execution by this crack outfit deserving of wider recognition.

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