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Sense of Direction
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Trumpeter Farnell Newton, the nephew of drummer Sunny Murray, joined forces with pianist Marcus Reynolds to jointly lead what is evidently the debut recording for both musicians. Together, with bassist Ameen Saleem and drummer Jason Brown, they make up a potent post-bop group, focusing on their enticing originals, most of which were penned by Reynolds. It's surprising that Reynolds' opening track, "The Two Larrys," is in honor of two organists (the late Larry Young and Larry Goldings), but this snappy number has an infectious groove, featuring ewton's expressive trumpet and guest Tim Wilcox's full-bodied tenor sax. The pianist's "Litoral" is a dreamy bossa nova saluting Ivan Lins. The trumpeter's two compositions include "Lover's Groove," a catchy ballad with a touch of Caribbean rhythm, along with "The Bluest Eyes," a soulful groover. The one standard is an imaginative arrangement by Reynolds of "It Could Happen to You."