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Impressions of Pepper - It was 52 years ago today / Jazz Weekly

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A look back at the classic Beatles album Sgt Pepper is delivered by artists ranging from Antonio Sanchez and Mary Halvorson to Sullivan Fortner, with impressive results. No one tries to repeat a mood, but simply to take the  songs and puree them through a 21st Century post bop mindset.  The closest thing to a similar mood is with bassist Felix Pastorius bringing in some raga-ish keyboards and synthesizers for a mystical "Within You Without You," but besides that, things get pretty original. Fortner's solo stride of "When I'm Sixty Four" is rich and colorful, while Sanchez's frantic drum work heats up "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and reprise. Guitarist Mary Halvorson gets some pretty tones and effects on "With A Little Help From My Friends" and bassist Miles Mosley gets rollicking on a funky "Lovely Rita." Keyon Harrold's soft horn teams with Shedrick Mitchell's piano for a pastoral "She's Leaving Home" with some thick textures closing things out by The Juju Exchange's creative delivery of "A Day In The Life." Not imitative, but celebrative, and it works well.

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