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JAZZ ALBUM BRIEFS

June 22, 1986|LEONARD FEATHER

"PARKER'S MOOD." Sadao Watanabe. Elektra 9 60475-1. Despite the sparkling piano of James Williams, and a bassist and drummer borrowed from Wynton Marsalis (Charnett Moffett and Jeff Watts), Watanabe's return to straight jazz after all those fusion-filled years just doesn't come off. Did he lose it somewhere along the way? Or did he never really have it as much as we thought? His middle-of-the-road, middle-of-the-ratings bebop alto seems to serve no purpose 31 years after Charlie Parker's death. There is simply nothing here to make the nerves tingle. Besides, Bird always played consistently in tune. 2 stars.

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