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Our Point of View in NYC

Supergroup celebrates Blue Note Records’ 75th anniversary

Lionel Loueke, Kendrick Scott, Marcus Strickland and Derrick Hodge (from left) perform at Le Poisson Rouge in December 2014 as part of Our Point of View
Derrick Hodge, Ambrose Akinmusire and Marcus Strickland (from left) perform at Le Poisson Rouge in December 2014 as part of Our Point of View
Robert Glasper performs at Le Poisson Rouge in December 2014 as part of Our Point of View

Our Point of View, a supergroup assembled to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Blue Note Records, played its fourth and presumably final show last Friday at Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village, following concerts in Monterey, Paris and London. A sextet of youngish talents-trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, tenor saxophonist Marcus Strickland, guitarist Lionel Loueke, pianist Robert Glasper, bassist Derrick Hodge and drummer Kendrick Scott-Our Point of View located a sweet spot between a working group and a tribute band and stayed there for two engaging hours. Conceptual but not overly so, the concert-a benefit for WBGO-dodged the perils associated with all-star engagements. Most of what you might have been wary of, this night wasn’t.

Which is to say: 1) a blowing session, and 2) an earnest attempt to modernize Blue Note standards for The Young People. Instead, the gig focused on recent original music, most of it released by the label. The sole catalog pick, Wayne Shorter’s “Witch Hunt,” from 1966, came off like an announcement of birthright rather than a concession to an anniversary. Neither too standard nor too obscure, it was given a masterful but relatively straight read at the top of the program, entrenching the musicians in the tradition and flaunting their postbop bona fides from the get-go.

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