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Live In Shanghai

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Album Review

This is a live set of excellent hard bop jazz performed by a sextet of experienced players. Led by the unassuming bassist Martin Zenker, the real stars are trombonist Adrian Mears and trumpeter Valery Ponomarev, who consistently dazzle with scintillating solos. By the time of this recording, Mears had developed and refined his style, which incorporates a raunchy sound, good range, and a fine technique. The underrated Ponomarev plays fast and hard, smack in the lineage of Clifford Brown. Both the trombonist and the trumpeter contribute outstanding compositions, and the Chinese audience responds accordingly. Occasionally, the slower pieces drag a tad, while the swifter ones appeal the most. The rhythm section of Zenker, drummer Rick Hollander, and pianist Bernard Pichl are strong in support, while tenor saxophonist Tim Armacost solos often but rather mundanely.

Live In Shanghai, Ugetsu
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