Roswell Rudd/Fay Victor/Lafayette Harris/Ken Filiano
Roswell Rudd is gone, but his horn lives on, not only in the hearts of many, but in the virtual grooves of Embrace, his final disc. This is not Rudd's record alone. It is a true group effort, featuring vocalist Fay Victor, pianist Lafayette Harris, and bassist Ken Filiano. Truthfully, it's almost not Rudd's record at all, but Victor's. She has a horn too, with her vocals on Thelonious Monk's "Pannonica," particularly, cutting like a trumpet next to Rudd's trombone. The latter enters majestically on the opening track, a floating, shimmering take of Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn's "Something to Live For" and is framed throughout by Harris's lush, but never intrusive, piano. Embrace is also a delightfully straightforward affair, with Rudd and company revisiting standards ranging from Charles Mingus's "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" (with lyrics by Roland Kirk, and scatting by Victor!) to Rudd's beloved folk of "House of the Rising Sun."