The Legacy

Bassist Mickey Bass produced this reunion of six of the more promising players to come along in the ’60s and early ’70s, all of them snubbed in the past decade in favor of Young Turks from the Marsalis generation. The returns of the stirring trumpeter Charles Tolliver and especially of alto saxophonist Gary Bartz to The Legacy may have you wondering why you don’t hear more about and by them. (Tolliver has been in Europe; Bartz went to fusion after recording a series of powerful albums for Milestone that ranged from hard bop to the inner limits of the avant garde.) The writing here is vigorous and imaginative — each man (except drummer Billy Hart) contributes an arrangement — and the solos crafty and mostly sure. An unmistakable falling off occurs in the solos of the elusive trombonist Grachan Moncur III, though he contributes the highly evocative composition, ”’A’ for Pops,” a tribute to Louis Armstrong. The ebullient rhythm section, in which Hart and pianist John Hicks join with Bass, generally sees Moncur through. It is the often overlooked Bartz, however, a 51-year-old master with an acidic sound and supple phrasing, who raises the roof. A-

The Legacy
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