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I Could Write a Book

George Coleman Quartet

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Album Review

Inspired by a guest spot in a Carnegie Hall Jazz Band tribute to Rodgers and Hart, Coleman organized an entire album around the theme — with a touch of Hammerstein too. It's a mostly mainstream hard bop session, with Coleman's slightly dry, plain-spoken tone on all three of his instruments — soprano, alto and tenor — lending an appropriately lyrical bend to the collection of well-known Rodgers standards; well, its mostly hard bop, "My Favorite Things" is cast perhaps inevitably in the modal Coltrane mold, with Coleman on soprano for good measure, and once in a great while, Coleman lets fly outside the changes. A fine, flexible rhythm section of veterans — two fellow Memphis colleagues (pianist Harold Mabern, bassist Jamil Nasser) and one Angeleno drummer (Billy Higgins) — sends Coleman on his way in style. As if in tribute to his rhythm section, Coleman sits out "People Will Say We're in Love" entirely and dukes it out with Higgins on a brief "Thou Swell." This is almost an echo of fellow saxman Joe Henderson's successful tribute formula of the early 1990s, although Henderson's CDs were somewhat more emotionally involving than this. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

I Could Write a Book, George Coleman Quartet
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