No one has shone brighter than veteran saxophonist Charles Brackeen in the excellent series presenting "the new American jazz" from Sweden's Silkheart label. The compositions on "Worshippers Come Nigh," Brackeen's third album taken from a 1987 session in Dallas, follow a simple pattern--brief unison readings of the themes and then off on extended, free-wheeling improvisations. But with Olu Dara's tart, pithy cornet giving a wild and woolly edge to Brackeen's spiritual tenor tone, drummer Andrew Cyrille's canny propulsion and bassist Fred Hopkins ranging through the sound like an All-Star center fielder, the results are uniformly heady and invigorating. The most intriguing piece: "Tiny Town," equal parts a call to an Islamic devotional service and an invitation to a Caribbean street carnival.
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