|2.||"Dear Old Thing" (6:27)|
For the latest release on his 22a label, Tenderlonious has persuaded trumpeter Nick Walters to reassemble his Paradox Ensemble outfit for the first time since 2013. "Awakening" is the 13-piece collective's debut album and, like previous releases, attempts to strike a balance between tight ensemble playing and more freeform, solo-powered passages. This plan is arguably best executed on the warm, groovy and ambidextrous B-side opener "Brahman", where wild instrumental solos ride a swinging groove and rich synthesizer chords, but is also expertly explored on the Latin-tinged dancefloor jazz opener "34268". That said, the collection's slower numbers are also inspired, particularly the dreamy "Dear Old Thing".
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