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Jazz Briefs

July 31, 1988|DON SNOWDEN

"EASILY SLIP INTO ANOTHER WORLD." Henry Threadgill. Novus. The opening side of Threadgill's second Novus album is imbued with the somber, funereal pomp and (less frequently) the sassy buoyance that are the twin cornerstones of New Orleans marching band music. Threadgill showcases his compositional skills more than his acidic, acrobatic alto solos here. The serpentine twists in the tightly arranged material are adroitly negotiated by his regular, unusually constituted backing sextet featuring two drummers and cellist Deidre Murray. Threadgill falters when his fondness for formality overcomes his swinging side but the broad palette of tone colors and textures indicates why he has emergered as one of the leaders of jazz's exploratory wing. 4 stars.

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