Normally, if I were to write that the songs on a particular album have a repetitive quality to them, that would not be a compliment. But repetition is a central positive ingredient in the compositional style of Randy Klein, and his new album, “What’s Next,” is engaging from start to finish. From Bach-like variations, repeated phrases you might hear in serial music, all the way to pop hooks, Klein’s tunes grab you and won’t let go.
Jazz albums can sometimes be so cerebral and avant-garde that you find yourself searching the tracks for any semblance of a melody. But the latest project by the excellent Chicago trumpeter Pharez Whitted is just the opposite. The tunes are so wonderfully melodic - downright catchy even - that it might make you wonder if jazz could regain some of its long-lost popularity. The title has it just right; this album is clearly for the people.
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