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Monthly Record Guide: Jazz (1)

Jazz Arthur Blythe, alto saxophone; Abdul Wadud, cello; Bob Stewart, tuba; Bobby Battle, drums; Kelvyn Bell, guitar. (Columbia Stereo FC 38661) - This is Blythe's cello-guitar-tuba band, and it's a surprisingly good combination. The unison lines with alto sax and cello tend to sound like two horns, and the tuba is a refreshing change from the usual acoustic or electric bass. This album is about Thelonious Monk's music, and Blythe has shown himself to be well qualified to interpret the compositions of that jazz master. He and his cohorts have grasped not only Monk's rhythmic and harmonic pecularities, without sounding like a carbon copy, they also have captured that indefinable Monk sound. Wadud's skitterish cello contrasts well with Blythe's raw, edgy alto sax, and the solos generate plenty of excitement.