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Album Review

Drummer Barry Altschul leads a particularly interesting quartet on this date (reissued on CD) that also includes trumpeter Enrico Rava, John Surman on baritone and soprano, and bassist Mark Helias. The music (three Altschul originals, a song apiece from Helias and Ray Anderson, plus Fats Waller's "Jitterbug Waltz") finds the pianoless group sounding halfway between the Gerry Mulligan/Chet Baker Quartet and the late-'50s Ornette Coleman/Don Cherry group. Among the highlights are Anderson's "Tap-A-Jack," Altschul's "Da Baron's Blues," and Helias' humorous "Le Tango." The advanced and passionate solos (Rava sounds much more high-powered than normal) and the close communication between the four highly individual improvisers make this a notable and highly recommended release.

Irina, The Barry Altschul Quartet
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