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Album review: 'In Real Time'

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John Bailey

"In Real Time"

Summit Records

johnbailey.com

Trumpeter John Bailey has been enhancing the music of major stars for decades. He joined The Buddy Rich Band while in college and went on to play with Ray Charles, Ray Barretto, and Arturo O'Farrill. Now in mid-career, he put together a first-rate band to express his own musical vision. Although Bailey is often out front on trumpet, his debut album is definitely a group effort with superb support from Stacy Dillard on saxophone; John Hart, guitar; Cameron Brown, bass; and Victor Lewis, drums; all of whom have ample solo opportunities.

From the beautiful ballad, "Lonely Planet," to the up-tempo burner, "Stepping Up," "In Real Time" is an excellent showcase for Bailey's compositional skills. Seven of the tunes are originals; the two well-chosen covers are by Gilberto Gil and Milton Nascimento. All of those years supporting other artists have obviously worked well for Bailey, whose playing is crisp and audacious. With a wide range of genres and styles, the album also reflects his comfort and expertise playing in a variety of musical settings.

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