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Soul Mates

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Album Review

Soul Mates, an exciting studio date from 1988, combines a front line of Charlie Rouse, Sahib Shihab, and Claudio Roditi (who doubles on trumpet and flügelhorn), with a first-rate rhythm section of Walter Davis, Jr., Santi Debriano, and Victor Lewis. With Don Sickler providing most of the arrangements, the full sextet is heard on six of the 11 tracks. The fast-paced hard bop opener, "November Afternoon," is a neglected work by Tom McIntosh and features some of the hottest playing of the two sessions that make up the date. Rouse, already well-versed in Thelonious Monk's "Green Chimneys," makes the most of Sickler's well-crafted chart, which incorporates quick quirky phrases by Shihab and Roditi to accent his tenor sax. Shihab composed and arranged the tricky "DiDa," in which Davis mirrors the baritone saxophonist throughout the introduction. Rouse is heard with just the rhythm section in his lyrical arrangement of the ballad "Bittersweet." On a sad note, by the time this Uptown CD was finally released in 1993, Rouse, Shihab, and Davis had all passed away.


Born: 06 April 1924 in Washington D.C.

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Possessor of a distinctive tone and a fluid bop-oriented style, Charlie Rouse was in Thelonious Monk's Quartet for over a decade (1959-1970) and, although somewhat taken for granted, was an important ingredient in Monk's music. Rouse was always a modern player and he worked with Billy Eckstine's orchestra (1944) and the first Dizzy Gillespie big band (1945), making his recording debut with Tadd Dameron in 1947. Rouse popped up in a lot of important groups including Duke Ellington's Orchestra (1949-1950),...
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