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Means Of Identification

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Album Review

The Reservoir label debuted with this excellent effort from trumpeter Valery Ponomarev, who was making his first recording as a leader. Five years earlier he had ended a nearly four-year stay with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, and although he never seems to receive the fame he deserved, Ponomarev since then has been one of the top Clifford Brown-inspired hard bop trumpeters around. On this set, Ponomarev teams up with tenor saxophonist Ralph Moore, Japanese pianist Hideki Takao (who filled in for the briefly ill guitarist Kevin Eubanks and surprised everyone by his superior playing), bassist Dennis Irwin and drummer Kenny Washington. Six of the trumpeter's mostly straight-ahead originals are performed, along with "I Remember Clifford," and the music should please hard bop collectors.


Born: January 20, 1943 in Moscow, Russia

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

The first major Russian jazz musician to make an impression in the United States, Valery Ponomarev has always had an attractive tone, a swinging style, and a strong interest in keeping the hard bop legacy of Clifford Brown alive. He played as regularly as possible in the Soviet Union, recording for the Melodiya label and appearing at jazz festivals until defecting in 1973. Four years later, he joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, a perfect outlet for his style, from 1977-1980; he recorded nine...
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Means Of Identification, Valery Ponomarev
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  • $8.91
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Apr 14, 1985

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