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Album Review

Steve Wilson's second recording as a leader shows considerable growth from his first, as he adds Steve Nelson's vibes to a group consisting of frequent Wilson collaborators (pianist Bruce Barth, bassist James Genus, and drummer Lewis Nash), with the sax-vibes front line creating a different group sound while adding more of the passion that characterized the first. Wilson, who wrote three of the eight compositions on Blues for Marcus, shows a stronger voice on alto sax, sounding reminiscent of Gary Bartz at times, and introduces his soprano sax, an instrument he would later use exclusively with Ralph Peterson's Fotet. Highlights include Ornette Coleman's "Jayne," based on the chords to the standard "Out Of Nowhere" and alternating between a samba and swing feel; Joe Chambers' "Patterns," taken at a blistering tempo; Wilson's "Diaspora," a three-sectioned composition played, according to liner notes writer and saxophonist Don Braden, "in the time feels of 12/8, 7/4, and 21/8!"; and the title track, an up-tempo blues complete with well-placed drum accents from Nash. One of 1993's best releases.

Blues for Marcus, Steve Wilson Quintet
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  • £7.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Hard Bop
  • Released: 04 January 1993

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