Justo Almario - Count Me In

Saturday 1st June 1996
Justo Almario - Count Me In
Justo Almario - Count Me In

RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
LABEL: Integrity 08942

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

One...two...three...four! Best known for his work with Koinonia and the times he's added class to the albums of others, Justo Almario's own projects are always top notch and this is a veritable Rolls Royce of an album with Justo in fine form no matter what style he's playing. What makes this a joy is the room he gives to the supporting players. The jazz workout of "In Your Dreams" features Phil Hamilton's fluid guitar playing, the mellow "May The Words" has Jimmy Tanaka's deft piano flourishes providing a backdrop for Almario's tremendous tenor playing. Predominantly jazzy, there are a number of different influences that pop up to sustain fascination throughout. The classic Jessy Dixon song "You Bring The Sun Out" highlights the rich vocal of Donnie McClurkin and elsewhere R&B gospel star Helen Baylor is a featured singer. The title track finds Almario's lyrical sax slipping over an urban dance rhythm. The album's closer finds Justo playing flute over his own "voice percussion", erm... a sort of jazzy Rolf Harris anybody? A couple of others worth checking out are the creatively twin fluted "For Barbara" and "Sabana", which features Russell Ferante's blissful piano solos - a real highlight of the album. Overall, this leaps out of the speakers and just demands respect!

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