Tom Harrell - Prana Dance
(High Note Records)
There is no shortage of high quality, progressive post-bop around, but Tom Harrell’s new disc stands out as a particularly noteworthy outing in that style. The trumpeter is a well-established name in contemporary jazz, and has been making his sophisticated contribution for over three decades. He is on top form here and sounds as focused and inventive on his instrument as I have heard him.
His current band is especially well suited to navigating through the rhythmic and harmonic subtleties of his music. Saxophonist Wayne Escoffery is a fine foil for the leader’s trumpet and flugelhorn on both soprano and tenor saxophones, while pianist Danny Grissett weighs in productively on piano and Fender Rhodes. Bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Johnathan Blake complete a highly interactive unit that delivers a notably enjoyable album, and puts a fresh twist on a familiar idiom.