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One Who Sees All Things

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Album Review

Since its inception, Smalls has been a record label that has focused on overlooked artists, recording them live or in the studio. But this date by pianist/composer Harry Whitaker proves to be the exception, as it was recorded between 1981 and 1982, but never released. Unfortunately, it is very inconsistent, blending elements of fusion beginning with the draggy "One Who Sees All Things" that is hampered by Sybil Thomas' wailing vocals, unimpressive lyrics, and an arrangement that never seems to gain steam. The two-part "Fire Sign" (though both parts are quite alike, like two versions of the same song) is a percolating post-bop vehicle with tenorist Rene McLean and trumpeter Terumasa Hino in the front line. But "Grey Wolf," with the addition of a noodling synthesizer and a monotonous uptempo electric bass vamp, signals a return to dated sounds. Leon Russell's pop ballad is transformed with an unusual, electrifying arrangement, incorporating a good bit of dissonance and a fine solo by McLean. The CD wraps with the free-form two-part "The Afterlife," blending funk and spacy sounds, another work that hasn't aged well. While there are some strong moments within this release, as a whole, it is doesn't stand up to typical Smalls releases.

One Who Sees All Things, Harry Whitaker
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  • 6,93 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 08 September 2008

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