The Black Art Jazz Collective's mission statement celebrates African-American cultural and political icons. At the core is a modernism that conjures up the classic bands of Art Blakey and acoustic Miles Davis. But with the contemporary soul-fueled solos and locked-in rhythm the band is more likely to launch into a counterpoint riff or the spacious funk of hip-hop than the svelte lines of a classic walking bass.
The Black Art Jazz Collective delivers strong original tunes and purposeful, form-hugging improvisation that keeps things looking forward rather than back. And with trumpeter Jeremy Pelt on ebullient form, and saxophonist Wayne Escoffery's muscularity contrasting with the tenderness of James Burton III's trombone, the focus never becomes diffuse or wavers.
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