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Strength In Numbers by Scott Hall Quartet

The lesson here is: watch. A major talent could be right next door: Scott Hall teaches in an Illinois high school; at night he's in Barry Winograd's big band. The group here is small, the emotion tender. (Mostly, that is - "Lawndale" shouts with a lusty montuno!) His tone is full, brassy but gentle; fits well with the easy trio, especially the keys of Karl Montzka. A light sound, but listen: herein is strength.

Hall moves in a whisper; you listen close and are hit by his warmth. "Cold Peanut Butter" sticks to your ears: a sly step, joined by a creeping organ. A meek entrance, then tempestuous flutters and a rugged bass - tasty. "Moments" yawns to a lonely room: an airy mood, stirred by the brushes. A one-man waltz, Scott gets stronger, turning Spanish as the drums prod him on. "For Eyes" comes later, a fireside embrace stoked by Montzka's chords. The horn is golden and the feeling, if anything, is more precious.

"Scott's Samba" is busy but Scott isn't; he moves leisurely through a busy background. On "One-Bar" he's mute, charming as he hums next to the subtle organ. (I love Montzka; he's light on effects and says much with a few notes.) The ending comes in a storm: "Do Not Wet" sprays the Tyner piano; Scott shouts while staying in control. This might have his best solo: high roaming clusters, running fierce. Montzka is strong, and Dana Hall never quits. Neither does Scott: there's a gentility you rarely find these days, plus a modern power. And strength - no question about it.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Scott Hall Quartet
  • CD Title: Strength In Numbers
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 1997
  • Record Label: Corridor Records
  • Tracks: Latin on Lawndale; Cold Peanut Butter; Moments of Momentum; For Eyes; Scotts Samba; One-Bar Coda; Strength in Numbers; Do Not Wet.'
  • Musicians: Scott Hall (trumpet, flugelhorn); Karl Montzka (piano, organ); Larry Kohut (bass); Dana Hall (drums).
  • Rating: Five Stars
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