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Roswell Rudd – Embrace (2017)

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Roswell Rudd – Embrace (2017)

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1		Something To Live For
2		Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
3		Can't We Be Friends
4		I Hadn't Anyone Till You
5		Too Late Now
6		House Of The Rising Sun
7		I Look In The Mirror
8		Pannonica

Double Bass – Ken Filiano
Piano – Lafayette Harris
Trombone – Roswell Rudd
Voice – Fay Victor


The idea of a bunch of standards and jazz oldies played by a crusty veteran trombonist with gal singer and drum-less rhythm section may not strike you right off as hot stuff, but let me pull your coat.

Trombonist Roswell Rudd inhabits his noblest of axes like none other. He reigns over dead-slow tempos and excels at medium trots, summoning more dry wit and expressive breadth with plunger mute on “Can’t We Be Friends” than Charlie Chaplin. Vocalist Fay Victor evinces pain, joy and lust with exceptional candor and warmth. Bassist Ken Filiano and pianist Lafayette Harris find amiable affinity as backroom buddies of easy accord, imperfect straight men for free-form front-line antics. –--Fred Bouchard, Downbeat Magazine


Roswell Rudd is gone, but his horn lives on, not only in the hearts of many, but in the virtual grooves of Embrace, his final disc. This is not Rudd's record alone. It is a true group effort, featuring vocalist Fay Victor, pianist Lafayette Harris, and bassist Ken Filiano. Truthfully, it's almost not Rudd's record at all, but Victor's. She has a horn too, with her vocals on Thelonious Monk's "Pannonica," particularly, cutting like a trumpet next to Rudd's trombone. The latter enters majestically on the opening track, a floating, shimmering take of Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn's "Something to Live For" and is framed throughout by Harris's lush, but never intrusive, piano. Embrace is also a delightfully straightforward affair, with Rudd and company revisiting standards ranging from Charles Mingus's "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" (with lyrics by Roland Kirk, and scatting by Victor!) to Rudd's beloved folk of "House of the Rising Sun." ---Michael Eck, chronogram.com

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