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Dark Grooves Mystical Rhythms (1999)

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James Hurt

Pianist James Hurt is a very talented musician, and his solos show a superb ability to improvise in an original style. For this recording, he has assembled a variety of groups, ranging from duo to septet to showcase his talents. He sounds best with rhythm along or with his tenor saxophonist of choice, Jacques Schwartz-Bart. The one track with four horns (alto saxophonist Sherman Irby, trumpeter Russell Gunn, tenor saxophonist Greg Tardy, and trombonist Robin Eubanks) is largely wasted due to the unimaginative arrangement, and failure to take advantage of the individual talent. In a more intimate context, Hurt displays an unconventional individuality and an impressive quirkiness. His self-confident swagger delight and he shows a knack for choosing his notes carefully. ~ Steven A. Loewy