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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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The Bones of Art

HighNote HCD 7251



1. Slide's Ride

2. Blue and Brown

3. Settegast Strut

4. Bird Bones

5. Sunset

6. 4 and 9

7. Fuller Beauty

8. Shorter Bu

9. Julian's Blues

10. Daylight


Steve Turre - Trombone, shells

Steve Davis - Trombone (except track 8)

Frank Lacy - Trombone (except track 6)

Robin Eubanks - Trombone (tracks 6, 8)

Xavier Davis - Piano, Fender-Rhodes

Peter Washington - Bass (except track 6)

Kenny Davis - Electric bass (track 6)

Willie Jones III - Drums

Pedro Martinez - Latin percussion (track 10)


Any trombone fan hearing this CD might think they've died and gone to trombone heaven! There's a three-trombones front-line on every track - Turre/Davis/Lacy on 8 tracks with Eubanks replacing Davis or Lacy on tracks 6 and 8. All the tunes are originals by one of the front-line and pay homage to former colleagues such as Curtis Fuller, Slide Hampton, Julian Priester, and to Art Blakey who employed them all at various times in the Jazz Messengers. Indeed, the CD's title is a subtle tribute to the great drummer.

Turre, who spent time with the Dizzy Gillespie United Nations Orchestra and Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy in addition to the Jazz Messengers, is a great entertainer as well as one of the finest modern jazz trombonists, and the pleasure he takes in demonstrating the rich sounds of his instrument pervades this recording.

The first track, Slide's Ride, sets the tone for the whole CD. It's a simple, catchy tune with an instant foot-tapping rhythm that says `this is going to be fun'! Xavier Davis, by no means overshadowed by the trombones, sets up the three front-line soloists with jaunty piano interludes. Turre takes to plunger mute for a warm tribute to the great Lawrence Brown on Blue and Brown. Lacy is impressively fat-toned throughout, especially so on the broad and bouncy Settegast Strut.

Other highlights are the loping, Freddie Freeloader-ish Sunset, the funky 4 and 9 with Eubanks joining in the fun and Xavier Davis switching to Fender-Rhodes, and the Latin beat Daylight featuring Martinez on congas plus Turre's party piece, the conch shells! But there's not a dull track on this infectiously joyful CD.

I loved it - and I think Art Blakey would have done too!

George Stacy

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