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Herlin Riley: Perpetual Optimism (Mack Avenue)

New Orleans-based drummer Herlin Riley may be best known for his 10-year stint with Wynton Marsalis, during which he often held down a traditional groove with immaculate timing and a raw, sometimes rowdy pulse. A master then and now, Riley has only gotten better, if that’s possible. “Snap Crackle” may be Roy Haynes’ nickname, but … Read More “Herlin Riley: Perpetual Optimism (Mack Avenue)”

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Herlin Riley: New Direction

There’s a subtle but pointed message implied in the title, as it relates to most of the music on this disc: Contrary to what some revivalists and progressives might insist, music can explore new directions without self-consciously proclaiming either its iconoclasm or its purity. Discovering new beauty and truth is a triumph of the spirit, … Read More “Herlin Riley: New Direction”

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