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Tootie's Tempo by Albert 'Tootie' Heath
Released: Aug 2013
Label: Sunnyside
Heath's history is deep: He played drums for both John Coltrane and Nina Simone in the 1950s. Young'un Ethan Iverson is in the future-minded group The Bad Plus, but has respect for his elders, too. Here, both dive into the jazz tradition with bassist Ben Street. "The Charleston," by stride master James P. Johnson, survives as a piano roll; this trio nods to the early-jazz feel, but also pushes it into harder bop territory, with joyous results. The crispness on "Stompin' at the Savoy" is a highlight, as is "Fire Waltz." And Tootie has the final say, like he should, on an extended solo feature.
Seth Colter Walls
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