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ALBUM REVIEW / JAZZ : JAMES WILLIAMS, "Talkin' Trash" , DIW ***

March 17, 1995|ZAN STEWART

This prime example of straight-ahead jazz exalts sumptuous melody and hard-driving rhythm. Here, creativity and entertainment are partners, not enemies.

This a truly cross-generational session, sparked by trumpeter- fluegelhornist Clark Terry, 74, a master who--after 50 years in jazz--continues to let loose unique, walloping sound and vibrant improvisations that continue to move listeners. Joining him are Williams, saxophonist Billy Pierce, vibist Steve Nelson and drummer Tony Reedus and bass whiz Christian McBride. Despite their stylistic differences, these fellows work together as a group, delivering lively, unified performances.

Terry is a terror, reading the tricky melodies of riotously fast tunes like "Boomerang" with aplomb, and then soloing with crackle and warmth. For sheer pizazz, nothing tops his version of "Moonglow," and for fun, there's "The Orator," where he employs a trademark, mumbling vocal.

The leader Nelson and Pierce are spirited modern foils, adding touches of '60s and '70s whammy to their solos. This stuff does not wear thin with repeated hearings.

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