CD First Line (CD 178486),
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First Line

  • 1. First Line
    2. C.J.
    3. Metamorphosis
    4. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child / Nonet
    5. Hey Mama
    6. Bush Baby
    7. Surinam
    8. Hambone
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 919014

  • Credits
    ProducerStefan F. Winter
    EngineerJoe Ferla

    Personnel: Bob Stewart (trumpet); Steve Turre (trombone, Haitian-shell); Kelvyn Bell (guitar); Idris Muhammad (drums); Arto Tuncboyaci (percussion).
    Recorded at RPM Sound Studios, New York, New York in November 1987.
    All tracks have been digitally remastered.
    Tuba virtuoso Bob Stewart had appeared on countless albums, always providing a solid and, more importantly, creative underpinning to diverse bands, so it wasn't a big surprise that his first album as a leader turned out so wonderfully. He fronts a sextet with an all brass front line that coasts and struts its way through some playful originals, well-chosen traditionals, and a couple of pieces from ex-employer Arthur Blythe's repertoire. His tuba fluctuates effortlessly from its role as bass substitute to lead instrument, the latter forming a creamy, layered sound with trombonist Steve Turre and trumpeter Stanton Davis. Stewart's solo rendition of "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" is a classic, using overtones to inject enormous amounts of feeling into the song and leading into his gorgeous "Nonet," a piece that sounds like it could have sprung from a neglected Music Inc. session. The rhythm section purrs along quite well, Kelvyn Bell supplying some fine color under Turre's shell solo on "Surinam" and the percussionists fine throughout. By the time Stewart's "Hambone" closes the disc with its theme oddly reminiscent of Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman," the listener has enjoyed a bright, juicy set, rambunctious and alive, heavy on the bottom and rolling on top. ~ Brian Olewnick

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