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Album Review

Alto and tenor saxophonist Ernest Dawkins' New Horizons Ensemble is constantly full of surprises on Mean Ameen, a tribute to the late trumpeter Ameen Muhammad. While "3-D" is a bit reminiscent of the free bop of Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz, Dawkins' tenor sometimes hints at Archie Shepp, "Haiti" sounds like the "small instruments" explorations of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and "The Messenger" is an excellent tribute to Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. These musicians are clearly talented in several styles, play with open minds, and react quickly to each other's ideas. The exciting closer, "Buster and the Search for the Human Genome," wraps up a superior outing of colorful and explorative yet surprisingly accessible jazz. Highly recommended.

Mean Ameen, Ernest Dawkins' - New Horizons Ensemble
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