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Tom Harrell: The Time of the Sun

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Tom Harrell’s quintet owes its premier status to the trumpeter-leader’s compelling writing, its ability to maintain a consistent lineup since its formation in 2006, and jazz values rooted in bebop and hard bop but tempered by rhythms introduced since the 1960s. The Time of the Sun, the band’s fourth album for HighNote, represents the pinnacle of its work so far.

As with the group’s previous albums, Harrell penned all the tunes. They are rhythmically engaging, a lesson Harrell learned during his days with Horace Silver’s quintet in the early ’70s (an experience saluted here with the Blue Note-ish “Modern Life”). But then Harrell writes compelling melodies, too, some with long held notes and slow moving lines (“Estuary” and “Open Door”), others with more complex designs. Whatever the case, it’s the groove that perfectly completes them.

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