Monday, November 19, 2012

Ninety Miles Live; Pharez For the People - Bob Stewart

Perhaps better than any politician or diplomat, musicians understand inherently that when we look at each other as individuals and focus on the similarities, the divide between us is actually quite short. Vibraphonist Stefon Harris, saxophonist David Sanchez and trumpeter Christian Scott first crossed that divide on their "Ninety Miles" disc of last year. Recorded during the same trip, their first and only live performance, "Ninety Miles at Cubadisco", took place at one of Cuba's biggest music festivals in Havana in 2010. With the help of some highly talented Cuban musicians, the trio further explores the chemistry of the earlier disc and takes their virtuosity to another level, conversing in a common language that transcends words.

After a long hiatus from recording, Chicago trumpeter Pharez Whitted returns with his second set of crackling originals, "For the People." Though deeply rooted in the tradition of Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan and Dizzy, Pharez looks only forward with a thoroughly vital sound and modern compositional approach. With his superb sextet, including guitarist Bobby Broom, saxophonist Eddie Bayard and pianist Ron Perillo, he further establishes his position as one of the top trumpet voices of his generation. As Neil Tesser of the Chicago Examiner states, "...few have managed to channel (Hubbard) as effectively as Pharez Whitted, who honors the late giant with his combination of intensity and technique, spank and sparkle, and that hot-cider tone."

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