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Album Review

Chip Shelton's third CD for Summit covers a lot more musical territory than his first two dates for the label. Utilizing several different types of flutes as well as soprano sax, Shelton mixes post-bop, hard bop, fusion, reggae, Motown, and other styles on this disc, though not always with optimal results. The high points are more jazz-oriented, particularly his infectious driving opener, "Imprints," which hints of the influence of Wayne Shorter's "Footprints" while retaining its own distinct identity, along with an explosive interpretation of Joe Zawinul's "Man in the Green Shirt." The arrangement of Smokey Robinson's "Quiet Storm" (a term that was, for a time, unfortunately used to describe bland smooth jazz) is more of a vocal pop feature for singer Jann Parker, though it has its moments. But there are problems with several of the other vocal features, particularly the quickly tiresome original reggae "Nukes May They Rust in Peace," the rhythmic but bland "Cobi's Place," and Archie Shepp's stagnant "Down Home New York," all of which feature Shelton's unpolished vocals. The supporting cast of musicians serves the leader's needs rather well, though it will be up to each listener to decide whether or not Chip Shelton attempts to cover too many bases in search of a hit.

Peacetime, Chip Shelton
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