Uri Caine: Toys

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

PERFORMER: Caine (p); Dave Douglas (t); Joshua Roseman (trbn); Gary Thomas (ts); Don Byron (b-cl); Dave Holland (b); Ralph Peterson (d); Don Alias (perc)
CATALOGUE NO: 514 022-2 (distr. Polygram)
Pianist Uri Caine has found a path out of the hard-bop mainstream that has consumed a legion of fashionable young men in lounge suits for over a decade. Given that some sort of rapprochement with the past was necessary in the early Eighties, as jazz emerged from a confusing two decades that had delivered the music on the one hand into the anarchy of freedom and on the other to the free-market commercialism of the fusioneers, Marsalis and his followers seemed to have both a diagnosis and remedy to the problems that ailed jazz. But after spending so long marching to the top of the hill and back down again, obdurate rationality within the tradition has not been the answer. Caine and an accomplished band of young musicians, who did not seek sanctity within the Marsalis comfort-zone, move into the more challenging climes of post-bop and produce a minor classic for the mid-Nineties. Stuart Nicholson