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Album Review

Charles Sullivan (who changed his name to Kamau Muata Adilifu in 1980) was quite active as a member of various Broadway show orchestras during 1981-95 but had only played jazz on an irregular basis during the interim, most notably with McCoy Tyner's big band. His first date as a leader since a Japanese record in 1974 features Adilifu playing his own originals. The frequently modal music is in some ways a throwback to the acoustic scene of the 1970s in that there are long melody statements and a liberal use of vamps. Adilifu's six originals generally develop slowly but are quite effective in setting moods and serving as viable vehicles for the solos of the trumpeter, tenor saxophonist Craig Handy and pianist Kenny Barron; bassist Rodney Whittaker and drummer Victor Lewis are active and alert in support. Everyone plays up-to-par, making Kamau Adilifu/Charles Sullivan's "comeback" record quite successful as creative jazz.


Born: 08 November 1944 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

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

A most underrated trumpeter, Charles Sullivan has excellent technique, fine tone, a bright, shimmering sound, and is effective in hard bop, free, big band, or bebop contexts. He's simply not gotten the credit he deserves, though he also doesn't have a large legacy of recordings to tout. Sullivan studied at the Manhattan School of Music in the '60s, and worked for off-Broadway productions. He played with Lionel Hampton and Roy Haynes' Hip Ensemble in the late '60s, then toured briefly as Count Basie's...
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Kamau, Charles Sullivan
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