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What is modern jazz composition? We’re long past the days of Duke Ellington and Gil Evans, and jazz has branched into so many different forms it is hard to keep track of them all. With Stellar Ian Hattwick’s takes on this challenge- almost every major genre of jazz composition is dealt with here, from straight-ahead modern jazz, ECM, third-stream, and ethnic jazz, to funk-rock a la Scofield. You can hear influences from George Benson to Ben Monder, from Chick Corea to Branford Marsalis. Yet through all of this the common thread is melody and groove, making this album not just a diverse one, but a beautiful one.

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