Thursday, September 29, 2005

Trumpeting Bridgewater

Champaign-Urbana native Cecil Bridgewater may be more acclaimed for his composing and arranging than his trumpeting, but that doesn't mean he can't blow a horn, as stints with Max Roach, Horace Silver and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra ought to make plain. He's also a fine jazz educator, as I had occasion to find out at the Jazz Threads program here last year.

And while few in number, Bridgewater has produced some good CDs. I like "I Love Your Smile," a collection of Bridgewater compositions and "Sophisticated Lady" performed with saxophonist Antonio Hart, trombonist Steve Turre and pianist Roland Hanna, plus Roach on some tunes. Think of the Modern Jazz Quartet-plus and you get the idea, which is to say sophisticated, straight-ahead jazz immaculately played with plenty of room for Cecil B. to show off that trumpet.

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