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The cover design to Paradigm Shift's second CD is a bit odd, as it gives top billing to guests Wycliffe Gordon and Marcus Printup (who previously appeared on the trio's Shifting Times), along with multi-reed player Gray Mayfield. But no matter the order of names, this excellent band (with guitarist Melvin Henderson, organist Gerry Youngman, and drummer Jared Schonig) plays a good mix of jazz-funk and soul-jazz. The punchy opener, "Street Expressionism," contrasts Mayfield's hip flute with Gordon's raucous trombone and Printup's sassy trumpet. Mayfield's hip tenor sax is showcased in the streetwise blues "Fallin' Through the Crack," as Schonig follows Youngman's first solo with a strong piano solo (via overdub). Henderson's boisterous "Candi" features Gordon's sassy trombone and Mayfield's robust tenor. Youngman's warm ballad "In My Life" (not to be confused with the Beatles tune) swings gently and will prompt a bit of foot-tapping. He also penned the light, funky "One Last Time." One nice surprise is a side-splitting arrangement of the oldie "Lulu's Back in Town," featuring Gordon, Mayfield (on alto sax), and Printup, who also add a happy vocal chorus. Mayfield stays on alto for the soulful arrangement of Percy Mayfield's "Give Me a Break." The subdued setting of "Small Day Tomorrow" adds vocalist Annie Sellick in a sensuous performance. Recommended.
Top Albums and Songs by Gray Mayfield
||Lulu's Back In Town||Street Expressionism||4:28||$1.69||View In iTunes|
||Street Expressionism||Street Expressionism||6:31||$1.69||View In iTunes|
||Fallin' Through the Crack||Street Expressionism||5:21||$1.69||View In iTunes|
||Candi||Street Expressionism||5:34||$1.69||View In iTunes|
||In My Life||Street Expressionism||7:14||$1.69||View In iTunes|
||A Small Day Tomorrow||Street Expressionism||5:16||$1.69||View In iTunes|
||Give Me a Break||Street Expressionism||8:08||$1.69||View In iTunes|
||Just This||Street Expressionism||6:43||$1.69||View In iTunes|
||One Last Time||Street Expressionism||6:44||$1.69||View In iTunes|
||On the River Mosel||Street Expressionism||5:23||$1.69||View In iTunes|