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1. Blow Top Blues

Blow Top Blues

BARBARA MORRISON I Love You, Yes I Do Savant Records SCD 2136 Barbara Morrison, vocals With Houston Person, tenor saxophone Stuart Elster, piano • Richard Simon, bass • Lee Spath, drums Track Listing: Save Your Love For Me • Canadian Sunset • I Had a Talk With My Man Last Night • Trust in Me • I Didn't Know What Time It Was • Who Can I Turn To? • If It's the Last Thing I Do • Black Eyed Blues • I Love You, Yes I Do • And I Love Him • For the Love of You • Blow Top Blues Barbara Morrison has been featured on over 20 recordings choosing her repertoire from a wide array of genres from traditional jazz and blues to gospel and pop. Her powerful voice, with its two-and-a-half-octave range, allows Ms. Morrison to belt out down-home, soul-stirring blues in a manner which places her firmly in the tradition of Etta Jones, Helen Humes, Irene Reid, and Dinah Washington. Her impassioned renditions of favorite torch songs reveal a consummate musicianship and a firm grasp of a song’s deepest meaning. Over the years, Ms. Morrison has performed with legends such as Gerald Wilson, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, James Moody, Ron Carter, Etta James, Esther Phillips, Jimmy Smith, Dr. John, Kenny Burrell, Terence Blanchard, Joe Sample, Cedar Walton, Tony Bennett, and Keb’ Mo. On “I Love You, Yes I Do,” Ms. Morrison is once again partnered by the soulful tenor saxophone of Houston Person who brings his own unique brand of bluesy exuberance to the proceedings.

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2. Black Eyed Blues from Barbara Morrison's I LOVE YOU, YES I DO

Black Eyed Blues from Barbara Morrison's I LOVE YOU, YES I DO

BARBARA MORRISON I Love You, Yes I Do Savant Records SCD 2136 Barbara Morrison, vocals With Houston Person, tenor saxophone Stuart Elster, piano • Richard Simon, bass • Lee Spath, drums Track Listing: Save Your Love For Me • Canadian Sunset • I Had a Talk With My Man Last Night • Trust in Me • I Didn't Know What Time It Was • Who Can I Turn To? • If It's the Last Thing I Do • Black Eyed Blues • I Love You, Yes I Do • And I Love Him • For the Love of You • Blow Top Blues Barbara Morrison has been featured on over 20 recordings choosing her repertoire from a wide array of genres from traditional jazz and blues to gospel and pop. Her powerful voice, with its two-and-a-half-octave range, allows Ms. Morrison to belt out down-home, soul-stirring blues in a manner which places her firmly in the tradition of Etta Jones, Helen Humes, Irene Reid, and Dinah Washington. Her impassioned renditions of favorite torch songs reveal a consummate musicianship and a firm grasp of a song’s deepest meaning. Over the years, Ms. Morrison has performed with legends such as Gerald Wilson, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, James Moody, Ron Carter, Etta James, Esther Phillips, Jimmy Smith, Dr. John, Kenny Burrell, Terence Blanchard, Joe Sample, Cedar Walton, Tony Bennett, and Keb’ Mo. On “I Love You, Yes I Do,” Ms. Morrison is once again partnered by the soulful tenor saxophone of Houston Person who brings his own unique brand of bluesy exuberance to the proceedings.

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3. Theme from Chico and the Man

Theme from Chico and the Man

RUSSELL MALONE - Time for the Dancers HighNote Records HCD 7305 UPC BARCODE: 6 32375 7305 2 9 Russell Malone, guitar Rick Germanson, piano Luke Sellick, bass Willie Jones III, drums Tracks: Time for the Dancers • Leave It to Lonnie • The Ballad of Hank Crawford • There'll Be Another Spring • Pocket Watch • Theme from “Chico and the Man” • And So It Goes • Little B's Poem • Flowers for Emmett Till With this, his third outing as a leader on HighNote guitar master Russell Malone returns with his talented quartet, featuring the potent pianism of Rick Germanson, the solid underpinnings of Luke Sellick on bass, and drummer-extraordinaire Willie Jones III. Malone possesses phenomenal technique, a warm luminous tone, an innate sense of swing, and his distinctive chording. The set consists of a wide range of songs including funk, ballads, uptempo hard bop performances and even a pop tune and a TV theme. Malone varies the instrumental textures and tone colors throughout to reveal his considerable inventive melodic art. This latest recording is further proof that Russell Malone is one of the top guitarists in jazz, here backed by a superb trio of masterful musicians.

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4. Time for the Dancers

Time for the Dancers

RUSSELL MALONE - Time for the Dancers HighNote Records HCD 7305 UPC BARCODE: 6 32375 7305 2 9 Russell Malone, guitar Rick Germanson, piano Luke Sellick, bass Willie Jones III, drums Tracks: Time for the Dancers • Leave It to Lonnie • The Ballad of Hank Crawford • There'll Be Another Spring • Pocket Watch • Theme from “Chico and the Man” • And So It Goes • Little B's Poem • Flowers for Emmett Till With this, his third outing as a leader on HighNote guitar master Russell Malone returns with his talented quartet, featuring the potent pianism of Rick Germanson, the solid underpinnings of Luke Sellick on bass, and drummer-extraordinaire Willie Jones III. Malone possesses phenomenal technique, a warm luminous tone, an innate sense of swing, and his distinctive chording. The set consists of a wide range of songs including funk, ballads, uptempo hard bop performances and even a pop tune and a TV theme. Malone varies the instrumental textures and tone colors throughout to reveal his considerable inventive melodic art. This latest recording is further proof that Russell Malone is one of the top guitarists in jazz, here backed by a superb trio of masterful musicians.

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5. 6. Mr. Kicks

6. Mr. Kicks

GIACOMO GATES - What Time Is It? Savant Records SCD 2157 GIACOMO GATES, vocals • Jerry Weldon, tenor saxophone • John di Martino, piano • Tony Lombardozzi, guitar • Lonnie Plaxico, bass • Vincent Ector, drums TRACKS: I Didn't Know What Time It Was • On a Misty Night • Somebody Buy Me a Drink • Silhouettes • In Cognito • Mr. Kick • A Few Bucks Ahead • I Can't Help It • Disappointed • Spinnin' (Speedball) • Too Many Things Being a good jazz vocalist isn't easy, and simply releasing a CD doesn't prove competence. More than some genres, a voice that's technically good is almost a requirement. There are exceptions, but in this particular genre you don't find too many with an instrument like Leonard Cohen's. There's also the question of material. When it comes to the Great American Songbook, it's hard to give a fresh spin to tunes that were already popular in the first half of the 20th Century and never faded into obscurity. Usually the fault lies in the interpretations rather than the choices, with musicians creating uninspired arrangements of obvious material in a sad effort to seem relevant. Giacomo Gates avoids all of these pitfalls. He has a warm, intimate sound with the technical chops to do whatever he wants to with his voice and benefits from tasteful and uncluttered arrangements that allow him to draw in the listener with ingratiating humor, emotional insight, subtlety and exemplary musicianship. With John di Martino at the piano and Jerry Weldon's tenor sax out in front, the results never feel stilted and in fact Gates comes across as one of the most distinctive singers on the scene. His unique sense of phrasing and insinuating manner of delivering lyrics to songs like "On a Misty Night," "I Didn't Know What Time It Was," and "A Few Bucks Ahead" help assure him a place among today's top vocalists.

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6. Silhouettes - from WHAT TIME IS IT? Savant Records SCD 2157

Silhouettes - from WHAT TIME IS IT?  Savant Records SCD 2157

GIACOMO GATES - What Time Is It? Savant Records SCD 2157 GIACOMO GATES, vocals • Jerry Weldon, tenor saxophone • John di Martino, piano • Tony Lombardozzi, guitar • Lonnie Plaxico, bass • Vincent Ector, drums TRACKS: I Didn't Know What Time It Was • On a Misty Night • Somebody Buy Me a Drink • Silhouettes • In Cognito • Mr. Kick • A Few Bucks Ahead • I Can't Help It • Disappointed • Spinnin' (Speedball) • Too Many Things Being a good jazz vocalist isn't easy, and simply releasing a CD doesn't prove competence. More than some genres, a voice that's technically good is almost a requirement. There are exceptions, but in this particular genre you don't find too many with an instrument like Leonard Cohen's. There's also the question of material. When it comes to the Great American Songbook, it's hard to give a fresh spin to tunes that were already popular in the first half of the 20th Century and never faded into obscurity. Usually the fault lies in the interpretations rather than the choices, with musicians creating uninspired arrangements of obvious material in a sad effort to seem relevant. Giacomo Gates avoids all of these pitfalls. He has a warm, intimate sound with the technical chops to do whatever he wants to with his voice and benefits from tasteful and uncluttered arrangements that allow him to draw in the listener with ingratiating humor, emotional insight, subtlety and exemplary musicianship. With John di Martino at the piano and Jerry Weldon's tenor sax out in front, the results never feel stilted and in fact Gates comes across as one of the most distinctive singers on the scene. His unique sense of phrasing and insinuating manner of delivering lyrics to songs like "On a Misty Night," "I Didn't Know What Time It Was," and "A Few Bucks Ahead" help assure him a place among today's top vocalists.

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7. Nardis from CYRUS CHESTNUT - "There's a Sweet, Sweet Feeling"

Nardis  from CYRUS CHESTNUT -

Cyrus Chestnut, piano • Buster Williams, bass • Lenny White, drums • Steve Nelson, vibraphone AVAILABLE IN JULY 2017

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8. 2. Hipsippy Blues - from FORMIDABLE -- Pat Martino

2. Hipsippy Blues - from FORMIDABLE -- Pat Martino

PAT MARTINO – Formidable HighNote Records HCD 7307 Pat Martino, guitar Pat Bianchi, organ Carmen Intorre, Jr., drums featuring: Adam Niewood, saxophone & Alex Norris, trumpet FORMIDABLE is the title of Pat Martino's first studio recording as a bandleader in 11 years and it is an excellent metaphor for the guitarist's fearless and virtuosic playing. Martino grew up in Philadelphia, PA, a musical melting pot where many jazz greats began their journey, so perhaps it's of little surprise that he emerged as one of the most exciting guitar players in the 1960s, having already developed a mature style by the age of 20. Today, the guitarist still plays his instrument with the same fiery enthusiasm that he had as a young player first making his name, having lost none of his talent for furious, daring improvisations, or hard-swinging grooves. Martino's core trio featuring Pat Bianchi and Carmen Intorre, Jr., is here augmented by the fiery saxophone of Adam Niewood and the forceful trumpet of Alex Norris. Martino's excellent choice of sidemen is made evident by the thoughtful communication and sense of fun shared between Martino and his colleagues.

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9. You Make Me Feel Brand New

You Make Me Feel Brand New

CYRUS CHESTNUT There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit HighNote Records HCD 7304 UPC BARCODE: 6 32375 7304 2 0 Cyrus Chestnut, piano Buster Williams, bass • Lenny White, drums with Steve Nelson, vibes Tracks: The Littlest One of All • Chopin Prelude • Nardis • Little B's Poem • Christina • CDC • You Make Me Feel Brand New • Easy Living • Rhythm-A-Ning • There's a Sweet, Sweet Spirit A decorated veteran of the Betty Carter Trio, pianist Cyrus Chestnut came out the experience relatively unscathed with a style and directive clearly his own. It's one steeped in the gospel church traditions of his native Baltimore, but also enlivened by an open ear aimed at a multitude of other influences. He has enjoyed stints with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Vanessa Williams, Freddie Hubbard and Joe Lovano. He also speaks fondly of his valuable tenures with vocalists Jon Hendricks and Joe Williams. With the fleetness of Bud Powell and his own distinctive two-handed lushly impressionistic harmonies, Cyrus offers an imaginative setlist with his long-time friends Buster Williams and Lenny White and together they breathe new life into the vernerable jazz piano trio format.

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10. 5. In Cognito

5. In Cognito

GIACOMO GATES - What Time Is It? Savant Records SCD 2157 GIACOMO GATES, vocals • Jerry Weldon, tenor saxophone • John di Martino, piano • Tony Lombardozzi, guitar • Lonnie Plaxico, bass • Vincent Ector, drums TRACKS: I Didn't Know What Time It Was • On a Misty Night • Somebody Buy Me a Drink • Silhouettes • In Cognito • Mr. Kick • A Few Bucks Ahead • I Can't Help It • Disappointed • Spinnin' (Speedball) • Too Many Things Being a good jazz vocalist isn't easy, and simply releasing a CD doesn't prove competence. More than some genres, a voice that's technically good is almost a requirement. There are exceptions, but in this particular genre you don't find too many with an instrument like Leonard Cohen's. There's also the question of material. When it comes to the Great American Songbook, it's hard to give a fresh spin to tunes that were already popular in the first half of the 20th Century and never faded into obscurity. Usually the fault lies in the interpretations rather than the choices, with musicians creating uninspired arrangements of obvious material in a sad effort to seem relevant. Giacomo Gates avoids all of these pitfalls. He has a warm, intimate sound with the technical chops to do whatever he wants to with his voice and benefits from tasteful and uncluttered arrangements that allow him to draw in the listener with ingratiating humor, emotional insight, subtlety and exemplary musicianship. With John di Martino at the piano and Jerry Weldon's tenor sax out in front, the results never feel stilted and in fact Gates comes across as one of the most distinctive singers on the scene. His unique sense of phrasing and insinuating manner of delivering lyrics to songs like "On a Misty Night," "I Didn't Know What Time It Was," and "A Few Bucks Ahead" help assure him a place among today's top vocalists.

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11. The Littlest One of All

The Littlest One of All

CYRUS CHESTNUT There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit HighNote Records HCD 7304 UPC BARCODE: 6 32375 7304 2 0 Cyrus Chestnut, piano Buster Williams, bass • Lenny White, drums with Steve Nelson, vibes Tracks: The Littlest One of All • Chopin Prelude • Nardis • Little B's Poem • Christina • CDC • You Make Me Feel Brand New • Easy Living • Rhythm-A-Ning • There's a Sweet, Sweet Spirit A decorated veteran of the Betty Carter Trio, pianist Cyrus Chestnut came out the experience relatively unscathed with a style and directive clearly his own. It's one steeped in the gospel church traditions of his native Baltimore, but also enlivened by an open ear aimed at a multitude of other influences. He has enjoyed stints with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Vanessa Williams, Freddie Hubbard and Joe Lovano. He also speaks fondly of his valuable tenures with vocalists Jon Hendricks and Joe Williams. With the fleetness of Bud Powell and his own distinctive two-handed lushly impressionistic harmonies, Cyrus offers an imaginative setlist with his long-time friends Buster Williams and Lenny White and together they breathe new life into the vernerable jazz piano trio format.

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12. 5. El Hombre - from FORMIDABLE -- Pat Martino

5. El Hombre - from FORMIDABLE -- Pat Martino

PAT MARTINO – Formidable HighNote Records HCD 7307 Pat Martino, guitar Pat Bianchi, organ Carmen Intorre, Jr., drums featuring: Adam Niewood, saxophone & Alex Norris, trumpet FORMIDABLE is the title of Pat Martino's first studio recording as a bandleader in 11 years and it is an excellent metaphor for the guitarist's fearless and virtuosic playing. Martino grew up in Philadelphia, PA, a musical melting pot where many jazz greats began their journey, so perhaps it's of little surprise that he emerged as one of the most exciting guitar players in the 1960s, having already developed a mature style by the age of 20. Today, the guitarist still plays his instrument with the same fiery enthusiasm that he had as a young player first making his name, having lost none of his talent for furious, daring improvisations, or hard-swinging grooves. Martino's core trio featuring Pat Bianchi and Carmen Intorre, Jr., is here augmented by the fiery saxophone of Adam Niewood and the forceful trumpet of Alex Norris. Martino's excellent choice of sidemen is made evident by the thoughtful communication and sense of fun shared between Martino and his colleagues.

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13. Rhythm-A-Ning

Rhythm-A-Ning

CYRUS CHESTNUT There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit HighNote Records HCD 7304 UPC BARCODE: 6 32375 7304 2 0 Cyrus Chestnut, piano Buster Williams, bass • Lenny White, drums with Steve Nelson, vibes Tracks: The Littlest One of All • Chopin Prelude • Nardis • Little B's Poem • Christina • CDC • You Make Me Feel Brand New • Easy Living • Rhythm-A-Ning • There's a Sweet, Sweet Spirit A decorated veteran of the Betty Carter Trio, pianist Cyrus Chestnut came out the experience relatively unscathed with a style and directive clearly his own. It's one steeped in the gospel church traditions of his native Baltimore, but also enlivened by an open ear aimed at a multitude of other influences. He has enjoyed stints with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Vanessa Williams, Freddie Hubbard and Joe Lovano. He also speaks fondly of his valuable tenures with vocalists Jon Hendricks and Joe Williams. With the fleetness of Bud Powell and his own distinctive two-handed lushly impressionistic harmonies, Cyrus offers an imaginative setlist with his long-time friends Buster Williams and Lenny White and together they breathe new life into the vernerable jazz piano trio format.

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14. Barbara Morrison -- Please Send Me Someone To Love From I Wanna Be Loved

Barbara Morrison -- Please Send Me Someone To Love From I Wanna Be Loved

Barbara Morrison, one of the world's most delightful and endearing jazz personalities returns to the recording studio and brings her good friend, tenor saxophonist Houston Person with her for her third recording on Savant Records. Her patented Music in the Morrison Manner, featuring blues, standards and even an occasional pop tune, has endeared her to audiences on both coasts and earned her a place among the most talented and skilled jazz vocalists working today. Morrison's delivery and vivaciousness has the ability to charm listeners while her timing and intonation are virtually flawless and the subtle perfection of her phrasing evokes the great vocalists of the past. The spirit of Dinah Washington hovers over this recording with many of the Great Lady's tunes receiving a Morrison Makeover while Houston Person weaves his husky-toned arabesques around the timeless melodies. BARBARA MORRISON, vocals • Houston Person, tenor saxophone • Stuart Elster, piano • Richard Simon, bass • Lee Spath, drums TRACKS: Perdido • I Wanna Be Loved • This Time the Dream's On Me • I'll Close My Eyes • Shiny Stockings • Skylark • Work • When Sunny Gets Blue • Please Send Me Someone to Love • September in the Rain • Make Me a Present of You

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15. BARBARA MORRISON - September in the Rain - from I WANNA BE LOVED Savant Records SCD 2164

BARBARA MORRISON - September in the Rain - from I WANNA BE LOVED Savant Records SCD 2164

BARBARA MORRISON I Wanna Be Loved Savant Records SCD 2164 Barbara Morrison, vocals Houston Person, tenor saxophone Stuart Elster, piano Richard Simon, bass • Lee Spath, drums TRACKS: Perdido • I Wanna Be Loved • This Time the Dream’s On Me • I’ll Close My Eyes • Shiny Stockings • Skylark • Work • When Sunny Gets Blue • Please Send Me Someone to Love • September in the Rain • Make Me a Present of You Barbara Morrison, one of the world's most delightful and endearing jazz personalities returns to the recording studio and brings her good friend, tenor saxophonist Houston Person with her for her third recording on Savant Records. Her patented Music in the Morrison Manner, featuring blues, standards and even an occasional pop tune, has endeared her to audiences on both coasts and earned her a place among the most talented and skilled jazz vocalists working today. Morrison's delivery and vivaciousness has the ability to charm listeners while her timing and intonation are virtually flawless and the subtle perfection of her phrasing evokes the great vocalists of the past. The spirit of Dinah Washington hovers over this recording with many of the Great Lady's tunes receiving a Morrison Makeover while Houston Person weaves his husky-toned arabesques around the timeless melodies.

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16. 'Round Midnight from Woody Shaw: The Tour -- Volume Two

'Round Midnight from Woody Shaw:  The Tour -- Volume Two

WOODY SHAW – The Tour - Volume Two HighNote Records HCD 7308 Woody Shaw, trumpet Louis Hayes, drums Junior Cook, tenor saxophone Ronnie Mathews, piano • Stafford James, bass Tracks: All the Things You Are • Night in Tunisia • ‘Round Midnight • some Other Blues • Invitation • What’s New This set is a compilation of performances recorded in different European cities during The Tour, which took place between 1976 and 1977. Following Volume 1 (HighNote HCD 7291), it offers a welcome shift in the narrative arc and trajectory of the band's development as well as a kind of a portrait or snapshot into the historical development of jazz at this particular time. Much is to be gleaned from the masterful treatment and sense of ownership over these compositions exhibited by Woody, Junior, Louis, Ronnie, and Stafford. The seasoned, almost seamless manner with which these pieces are covered speaks masterfully to a level of reverence and unrelenting commitment to tradition that belies all claims (by omission) of deceleration concerning jazz's momentum during the 1970s. As Woody put it in an interview referencing this very group “by no means is jazz dead.” Clearly, this release proves him right.

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17. 8. Cede's Shack

8. Cede's Shack

ERIC ALEXANDER - Song of No Regrets HighNote Records HCD 7311 Eric Alexander, tenor saxophone with special guest: Jon Faddis, trumpet David Hazeltine, piano • John Webber, bass Joe Farnsworth, drums • Alex Diaz, percussion Track Listing: But Here's the Thing • These Three Words • Grinder • Corazón Perdido • Mas Que Nada • Boom Zoom • Song of No Regrets • Cede's Shack • Up, Up and Away Hearing tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander is one of the great treats in jazz. There are few artists on stage today who combine chops, imagination and technique with a fluidity of ideas as he does. This imposing improviser is reunited here with pianist David Hazeltine and they're joined by another jazz great, the always daring trumpeter Jon Faddis on a couple of the tracks. Add in the swing engendered by bassist John Webber and drummer Joe Farnsworth and you have a formula for excellence, if ever there was one. Alexander produced the session and there is a strong latin feel throughout thanks to the contributions of vibrant percussionist Alex Diaz spurring the band on with a whole trunk load of Latin percussion instruments. In addition to the Sergio Mendes & Brazil '66 title tune, the set-list features a satisfying mix of originals and covers all given the patented Alexander treatment.

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18. Barbara Morrison -- Blow Top Blues From From I LOVE YOU YES I DO SCD 2136

Barbara Morrison -- Blow Top Blues From From I LOVE YOU YES I DO  SCD 2136

Anybody who has ever heard vocalist Barbara Morrison command a stage knows that she possesses an effervescent singing style that drips with soul and a ribald sense of humor. The Ypsilanti-born singer spent her early career working with the blues legend Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson who gave the young singer a secure grounding in the blues. She has performed at the Montreux, Monterey, Long Beach and North Sea jazz festivals, Carnegie Hall and probably every Southern California jazz venue of the last 40 years. Morrison has been heard with Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Burrell, Jimmy Smith, Dr. John, the Count Basie Orchestra and Doc Severinsen's Big Band, to name a few. For her Savant Records debut, Morrison is joined by that most soulful of tenor players, Houston Person in a program of standards and bluesy classics which could have been a Dinah Washington set list.

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