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Black Action Figure (1999)

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Greg Osby

With his second album Black Action Figure, Stefon Harris still is finding his footing as an innovator, yet he is well on his way to developing his own exciting sense of style. At its core, this is fairly traditionalist hard bop, but there is energy and unpredictability to Harris' playing that makes it feel chancier -- and he does push harder at the borders of bop this time around. That added sense of adventure, along with the robust spirit of his supporting band, makes Black Action Figure another winner for Harris. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine