Howard Prince And The Music Coalition: Howard Prince (trombone); Donald Harrison (soprano & alto saxophones); Claudio Roditi (trumpet); Chris Hajian (Hammond B-3 organ, synthesizer); Dave Moreno (guitar); Bryce Sebastien, Will Lee (bass); Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Keith Copeland, Joel Rosenblatt (drums); Cyro Baptista Ciari (percussion).
Recorded from September 3-7, 1992. Includes liner notes by Arnold Jay Smith.
All songs written by Howard Prince except "Undercover" and "I Hear Your Voice" (Chris Hajian) and "Letter To A Poet" and "Periwinkle" (Dave Moreno).
Personnel: Howard Prince (trombone); David Moreno (guitar); Donald Harrison (soprano saxophone, alto saxophone); Claudio Roditi (trumpet); Chris Hajian (synthesizer); Joel Rosenblatt, Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Keith Copeland (drums); Cyro Baptista (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Bob Brockman.
Liner Note Author: Arnold Jay Smith.
Recording information: The Magic Shop, New York, NY (09/03/1992-09/07/1992).
Photographers: Martin Cohen ; Eleonora Alberto; Mychal Watts; Hal Oringer; Larry Busacca.
One of Howard Prince's strong points is his flexibility; the trombonist has thrived in avant-garde settings, but he's also at home playing inside on a hard bop or post-bop gig. Although Prince sticks to post-bop on the pianoless Straight to the Soul, he doesn't limit himself to any one type of post-bop. "Lyd" and "Hardcore" show how intellectual and unsentimental he can be -- these are the type of ultra-cerebral, angular, difficult tunes that scare pop, rock, and R&B fans away from jazz but are enjoyable if you comprehend them and have developed a taste for the abstract. However, some of the material is much more accessible, especially the gentle "I Heard Your Voice," the pensive "Letter to a Poet," and the funky "Gracie Square Blues." Prince is joined by different combinations of players, who range from trumpeter Claudio Roditi and percussionist Cyro Baptista to saxman Donald Harrison and drummer Marvin "Smitty" Smith. Whether he was being lyrical or angular, this decent outing made it clear that Prince wasn't someone you could confine to any one approach. ~ Alex Henderson