The Leaders Spirits Alike
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- by Thelonious Monk ~ The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings (6-CD) ~ $35.46
- Released: March 13, 2007
- Originally Released: 2007
- Label: Double Moon
JazzTimes - p.78"The band's rapport is evident throughout the set, in its tight ensemble work, in-the-pocket soloing and several well-executed improvisational outros."
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Composer: The Leaders.
The Leaders: Chico Freeman (sopranino saxophone); Bobby Fisher (alto saxophone); Eddie Henderson (trumpet); Fred Harris (piano); Cecil McBee (bass guitar); Billie Hart (drums).
In the late 1980s and early '90s, the Leaders was a part-time all-star group consisting of trumpeter Lester Bowie, tenor saxophonist Chico Freeman, altoist Arthur Blythe, pianist Kirk Lightsey, bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Don Moye. The new Leaders only retains Freeman and McBee, with trumpeter Eddie Henderson succeeding the late Bowie and altoist Bobby Watson, the lesser-known but talented pianist Fred Harris and drummer Billy Hart taking the places of Blythe, Lightsey and Moye. While Bowie in particular is missed, Eddie Henderson does a good job of filling in, and the new Leaders are of the same high quality as the original group. The music, all originals from bandmembers, ranges from advanced hard bop to hints of the avant-garde, from bluesy material to a pair of duets by Freeman and McBee. Watson and Freeman in particular consistently take solo honors although all of the musicians fare well. Recommended. ~ Scott Yanow
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