Anthony Branker and Word Play

The Forward (Towards Equality) Suite

origin 82663

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MUSIC REVIEW BY George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly

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This session lead by composer and music director Anthony Branker can be approached one of two ways. Musically, it boasts of a horn section of David Binney/as, Ralph Bowen/ts-ss-fl and Conrad Herwig/tb that is second to none, with Bowers delivering a riveting tenor solo on "Our Dreams." The rhythm section of Renato Thoms/perc, Donald Edwards/dr, Kenny Davis/b and Jim Ridl/key is swinging yet flexible over things like post bop cookers like "Forgotten Peoples." Binny's alto sears throughout, and Herwig's trombone glows on the closing "Hope." Musically, the stuff is peerless.

The only caveat is the collection of President Obama's snippets from his 2nd Inaugural Address as well as spoken pieces from 5th Grade students from Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Piscataway, New Jersey, hoping for a world "without guns." The collection of speeches makes me wish that a copy of the movie America, Imagine the World Without Her was able to be linked via the CD, but there you go.






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