Spirits of Congo Square
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Altoist Donald Harrison's disc utilizes New Orleans parade rhythms on all of the selections, even while most of the solos (until the final three numbers) are more hard bop than New Orleans jazz. John O'Neal verbally pays tribute to the rhythms on the opening "And How That Rhythm." The other selections include an augmented bop blues ("Two Way Pocky Way"), the tricky "Don't Drink the Water," Thelonious Monk's "Bye-Ya," a pair of Freddie Hubbard tunes well worth reviving ("Crisis" and "Bob's Place"), Sonny Rollins' "Oleo," and the catchy "Spirits of Congo Square." Throughout these performances there are many colorful solos from trumpeters Nicholas Payton and Marlon Jordan, trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis, Victor Goines on tenor, and Harrison. Roy Haynes' "True of False" is Dixieland-ish in its own eccentric way, with clarinetist Louis Ford and trumpeter Jamil Sharif being added to the band. Finally, Payton plays beautifully on a respectful rendition of "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" and all seven horns romp and riff throughout "The Second Line," which is really "Joe Avery's Blues." Overall, this colorful album is full of spirit, always holds on to one's interest, and is highly recommended.
Born: 23 June 1960 in New Orleans, LA
Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s
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