Tom Harrell - LIGHT ON (2007)

As correctly stated in the liner notes by Neil Tesser, Tom Harrell's music takes several listens to fully appreciate, for there is much to discover. For Light On, his first recording as a leader in four years, Harrell contributed all of the compositions. His pieces utilize original chord changes (none are mere run-throughs of rhythm changes), complex but often somewhat catchy melodies, dynamics and subtle surprises. Only the augmented blues "Bleu Caribe," a change of pace, would work at a jam session. Harrell's cool-toned trumpet and flugelhorn contrast well with Wayne Escoffery's muscular tenor; the rhythm section is heated and stimulating; and Danny Grissett is equally effective on both the acoustic piano and the Fender Rhodes. All of the musicians are in top form, which is fortunate since these pieces are not that simple to play. Several of the originals deserve to be adopted and interpreted by other musicians. Overall, Light On is a superior set of modern jazz. ~ by Scott Yanow

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