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  Listen Up! 5/1/03 Listen Up!

Thursday, May 1

Joe Lovano, “On This Day . . . At the Vanguard,” Blue Note Records. Lovano leads a pretty hot ten piece band in a fun live recording. The sound isn’t the clearest I’ve ever heard; everything sounds a little muffled. But, the band is cooking, and it’s a nice way to start my day.

Rod McGaha, “Preacherman,” Compass Records. This came out a few years back. It’s an interesting trumpet quintet (with piano, bass, drums, and organ). McGaha certainly has an ebullient style, rooted in New Orleans idioms yet idiosyncratic enough to qualify as a personal voice. Songs jump from the Beatles (“Can’t Buy Me Love”) to Ellington “In a Sentimental Mood” to gospel standards (a boppish vocal take on “This Little Light of Mine”). I don’t know what has happened to this guy in the last four years, but I’m hearing enough here to make me at least curious.

--Steve Pick

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