No More No Les
Tenor saxophonist Les Arbuckle's jazz
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'It's unusual for someone to wait until he is in his forties to record his first date as a leader, but tenor saxophonist Les Arbuckle's postponed debut is worth the wait. This 1993 session finds the veteran educator accompanied by two very familiar names: pianist Kenny Barron (seemingly nearly everyone's first-call pianist during the 1990s) and bassist Cecil McBee, along with drummer John Ramsay, a friend when both were teaching at Berklee during the 1970s. While post-bop dominates the CD, there are variations. The mournful dirge-like opening duet with McBee's arco bass in "Prelude and Groove" segues into the street-parade-like funk of the main body of the piece, while the brisk treatment of Mal Waldron's great ballad "Soul Eyes" blends hard bop with a Latin-flavored rhythm. Other highlights include his hard-blowing interpretation of Cole Porter's "It's Alright With Me" and the leader's loping late-night blues "Emily's Hot Bath." '
- Ken Dryden (All Music Guide)