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Merge (Remastered)

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Album Review

This CD reissues nine of the ten selections that were formerly out on two LPs: The Jack Wilkins Quartet and You Can't Live Without It. The only cut left off is a guitar/piano duet by leader Jack Wilkins and Jack DeJohnette. The earlier date features Wilkins, flugelhornist Randy Brecker, bassist Eddie Gomez, and Jack DeJohnette (on drums for all but one tune). Although they play three group originals, the most memorable performances are their versions of "Falling in Love With Love" and Chick Corea's "500 Miles High." The later session — which has Wilkins, Randy Brecker, Michael Brecker on tenor, pianist Phil Markowitz, bassist Jon Burr, and drummer Al Foster — is more of a jam session. The sextet romps through lengthy versions of Tommy Flanagan's "Freight Train," "Invitation," "What Is This Thing Called Love," and the ballad "What's New," and there are many exciting solos. This very enjoyable CD is most highly recommended to listeners who think that the Brecker Brothers can only play funk.


Born: 03 June 1944

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A superior, slightly underrated improviser, Jack Wilkins has proven on his infrequent recordings as a leader that he ranks near the top. Wilkins, who studied with John Mehegan early on, learned vibes, piano, and classical guitar, but has stuck to jazz guitar throughout his career. He gained a strong reputation during his long association with Buddy Rich. Since then, he has recorded as a sideman with Jack DeJohnette, Eddie Gomez, Phil Woods, Harvie Swartz, and the Brecker Brothers, among others. But...
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Merge (Remastered), Jack Wilkins
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