The best moments on violinist John Blake’s 1992 release are the two selections that feature his former boss, Grover Washington, Jr., on soprano. Washington swings hard on an overly brief version of “Moment’s Notice” and plays soulfully on “Val’s Blues.” Other selections have Blake and his rhythm section (with pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Charles Fambrough, drummer Ben Riley, and percussionist Omar Hill) joined by Joe Ford on soprano and mostly playing melodic group originals. The one exception is Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile,” which features some lyrical violin from the talented if underrated Blake. – Scott Yanow
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