Pharez Whitted

For the People

origin 82624

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Jon Ross, Downbeat Magazine

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"Watusi Boogaloo," the first track on Chicago-based trumpeter Pharez Whitted's fourth album, starts things off with a funky, in-the-pocket groove; the exceptional guitarist Bobby Broom sets up a one-note, rhythmic vamp before Whitted and saxophonist Eddie Bayard ascend and descend, navigating a medium-tempo, spiraling figure. It's a laidback melody, deliberately navigated with ease, giving the tune a light, casual nature grounded in a permeating rhythm, but the playing is full of energy. The feeling of a casual rhythmic momentum engulfs the rest of the album, which is composed of all original tunes. Whitted has two superb conspirators in Broom and Bayard, both of whom bring dynamic interpretations to each tune. Many of the compositions fall in the middle of the road, tempo-wise, and these are where Whitted is best. The trumpeter does slow things down toward the middle of the album, but the unbridled energy and engaging playing remains. "Sad Eyes" is the best of the ballads; Whitted matches up with Broom on the melody, giving Bayard room for a soprano counterline. "Hope Springs Eternal," the last tune on the disc, sums up the band's approach in a relatively succinct package. Bayard, Broom and Whitted all take lengthy, explosive solos after reading down a funk-inflected melody.








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