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Knots by Kevin Norton Ensemble

Where is the Charles Mingus of today?--cries a voice from the wilderness. "You know, a composer/bandleader that inspires the players, pushes the envelope, can be cerebral yet swinging?" Rest easy--this Norton chap is definitely a contender. He writes well-thought, gently twisted and challenging compositions (not just blowing vehicles) that do not forsake swing, lyricism or rhythm--recalling somewhat early-'60s Dolphy-era Mingus. There's plenty of tight ensemble playing that leaves room for free yet concise solos.

Highlights are Ulrich's melancholy cello, DeBellis' alto playing (he has some of the "cry" of primo Jackie McLean) and the killer Klezmer clarinet of Krakauer, who guests on the contemporary-classically-tinged "Three Movements for Solo and Ensemble". Somewhere, Chas. M. is sitting there, stroking his beard, smiling slightly and thinking, "not bad."

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Kevin Norton Ensemble
  • CD Title: Knots
  • Genre: Other
  • Year Released: 1998
  • Record Label: Music and Arts
  • Musicians: Kevin Norton (drums,vibes, percussion) David Bindman (sax) Tomas Ulrich (cello) Bob DeBellis (sax) Joe Fonda (bass) David Krakauer (clarinet)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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