Mutual Admiration Society
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Versatile vibraphonist Joe Locke is joined by virtuosic pianist David Hazeltine and backed by bassist Essiet Essiet and drummer Billy Drummond for this very compelling set of standards and originals. Vibes and piano make a difficult front line, but Locke and Hazeltine somehow manage to strike just the right balance in producing music that glows with creative abandon. Locke, whose credits include stints with Cecil Taylor, Dianne Reeves, and the Beastie Boys, is a technically impressive player, but also one whom is able to transcend the inherent limitations of his instrument. He and Hazeltine make a good team, as they show an uncanny ability to navigate tricky rhythms and chords, while never sacrificing the essential swing quality of a tune. The results are often uplifting, sometimes introspective, but never less than successful.