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"Things Are Getting Better"
by Jim Santella
L.A. Jazz Scene  - Feb. 2011

This quintet of contemporary jazz artists follows the modern mainstream, rooting their music in bebop but pouring out creative energy to make it grow. Each one feels comfortable with liberal amounts of soloing and they work together as one. Their first release, in 2005, introduced the ensemble’s motive: a 1959 LP by the Miles Davis quintet minus its leader which starred Cannonball Adderley and John Coltrane, Here, alto saxophonist Bruce Babad and tenor saxophonist Glenn Cashman fill that role with attitude. Babad has Cannonball’s emotional push, and Cashman has Coltrane’s bushel of surprises. Together, they form creative musical conversations that thrive on spontaneity and freedom.

Double bassist Luther Hughes, pianist Ed Czach and drummer Paul Kreibich put the foundation on a program that includes Frank Rosolino’s “Blue Daniel,” Duke Ellington’s “Take the Coltrane” and Paul Kreibich’s “Green Bananas.” Cashman and Babad contributed several originals that give the session even more freedom. Cashman’s “Sunset at Hermosa” fuses a Latin beat with the kind of mood Cannonball and Coltrane would have appreciated: upbeat, and filled with partnership. Babad’s “Glo in the Dark” brings a jazz waltz to life with the kind of spunk that makes straight-ahead jazz lovers want more; the piece invites growth as Hughes, Babad, Cashman and Czach pass the solo baton along seamlessly. With this latest issue from the Cannonball-Coltrane Project, Luther Hughes and his band demonstrate how mainstream jazz is meant to grow and keep on growing.