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ALBUM REVIEW: "Detroit Lean"

Phil Palombi

"Detroit Lean"

Xcappa Records

Phil Palombi is a top New York bassist who has played with Joe Lovano, Michael Brecker, Etta Jones, and many more. He's also well known for his book of transcriptions of solos by Scott LaFaro. (LaFaro, who died at the age of 25 in a car accident, was one of the greatest bassists in jazz history.) On most of the tracks on "Detroit Lean," Palombi solos on the Prescott bass that LaFaro used in the Bill Evans Trio.

Bass solos can be the butt of jokes, but no one will ridicule Palombi's; they are unfailingly rhythmic, melodic, and exciting. Playing LaFaro's instrument seems to have inspired Palombi not only in his adventurous solos but also in his excellent compositions. There is a modern edge to all of the acoustic pieces and a sprightly, fusion quality to the tunes on which he plays electric bass. Palombi is well supported by Matthew Fries, keyboards; Tony Romano, guitars; Keith Hall, drums and percussion; Kat Gang, vocals; and George Walker Petit, percussion and special effects. — BY RON NETSKY