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Wise Children by Tom Harrell

Trumpeter/flugelhornist Tom Harrell’s twentieth release signifies a noticeable shift in strategy, as he utilizes the talents of four prominent female jazz vocalists. He also incorporates a strings section, to complement percussionist Café’s world music accents and rhythms. But the underlying groove resides within a contemporary jazz format, as Harrell’s base quintet serves as the anchor here. At times, the artist conveys a thoroughly hip, West Coast type of vibe amid memories of the ‘70s style, hybrid jazz/funk/strings related initiatives.

Harrell’s effervescent flugelhorn and trumpet work provides a silky smooth edge to these rather divergent and largely upbeat sequence of works, awash with resonant flutes, Latin rhythms, and funky beats. In addition, many of these pieces are topped off with addicting melodies and breezy solos by saxophonist Jimmy Greene, keyboardist Xavier Davis and many others.

Cassandra Wilson’s hush toned and altogether soothing vocals on "Leaves," offers notions of a blissful world; partly due to Harrell’s warm soloing. To that end, it becomes easily discernible, that Harrell and his musical associates beckon the listener to feel good about his or herself. With this release, the trumpeter injects a quality of life scenario into these memorably tuneful compositions. (Decidedly recommended.... )

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Tom Harrell
  • CD Title: Wise Children
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Record Label: Bluebird
  • Rating: Four Stars
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