Cornelius Bumpus: Known Fact

A veteran player who has journeyed from pop and country to fusion, saxophonist Cornelius Bumpus settles somewhere in the R&B-tinged middle for Known Fact (Palmetto PM 2056; 48:00), a likeable, hook-filled collection produced by talented label chief Matt Balitsaris. An old-school player as comfortable with piping, bright soprano as smoky, punching tenor, Bumpus shows well in a stretch-inducing gospel setting, evidenced on slower-paced reads of the Staples Singers’ “I’ll Take You There,” and the Doobie Brothers’ “Takin’ It to the Streets.” Other highlights include “Stand Up and Be Counted,” an upbeat jam which moves like classic Motown-full of gospel verve and melodic, rag-tinged keyboard, and the album’s elegant title track, which gives Bumpus the romantic headroom to let his notes sing out and trail off emotively.