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In The Spirit Of Fats Navarro by Mac Gollehon's Smokin' Section

The fourth release by Mac Gollehon's Smokin' Section, In The Spirit Of Fats Navarro blends four new compositions by the leader with a set of songs from the pen and book of the trumpet legend Theodore "Fats" Navarro, who died in 1950. Although his recording career was brief, and ended before the LP era, Navarro's influence has been passed down the line through Clifford Brown, Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw. Gollehon's own style, a punchy, funk influenced approach that features frequent climbs into the high register, isn't apt to draw immediate comparisons to Navarro, but his tribute on this disc reflects the esteem which Navarro commands from virtually every trumpeter that has followed him.

The Smokin' Section sextet is augmented by Ronnie Cuber's baritone sax and some judicious multi-tracking of Gollehon's trumpet, giving some of the tracks an updated big band style, but this isn't to be confused with the neo-swing "big bands" of recent vintage. There's more in common with Dizzy Gillespie's fabled bop version of the form, as befits a disc that name checks one of the great names in bebop. The closing song, Gollehon's "Bebop Revolution," is offered in both an instrumental version and with a narrative by Tamm E. Hunt that memorializes the bop era. It's a look back that provides an excellent summation to an album that updates the bebop style forcefully and brilliantly.

Berklee grad Mac Gollehon is well known as a top session player for a variety of rock, R&B and pop sessions, and with this set he continues to establish himself as an outstanding leader in the jazz field as well.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Mac Gollehon's Smokin' Section
  • CD Title: In The Spirit Of Fats Navarro
  • Genre: BeBop / Hard Bop
  • Year Released: 2000
  • Record Label: Half Note
  • Tracks: Spinal, EB-POB, Blues For Fats, Nostalgia, Fats Blows, Boperation, Dance Of The Infidels, Ten Til Twighlight, Mac Blows, Our Delight, Bebop Revolution, Bebop Revolution (w/vocal)
  • Musicians: Mac Gollehon (trumpet), James Hurt (piano), Lonnie Plaxico (bass), Ronnie Burrage (drums), Frank Lacy (trombone), Bill Holloman (sax, B3 organ), Ronnie Cuber (baritone sax), Tamm E. Hunt (vocal)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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