Urban Earth would also be the name of bassist Harvie Swartz's short-lived group of the late '80s, but for this Gramavision release, he used an all-star lineup: altoist David Sanborn, Bob Mintzer on soprano, guitarist Mike Stern, pianist Ben Aranov, drummer Victor Lewis and percussionist Manolo Badrena. The music (five Swartz originals, "'Round Midnight," and Dave Brubeck's "The Duke") is mostly straight-ahead yet has its unpredictable and exploratory moments. In fact, there are plenty of subtle surprises throughout this relaxed yet consistently stimulating session. ~ Scott Yanow
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