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Stepping out front

Hearts and Numbers
Hearts and Numbers
By Don Grolnick

Hip Pocket / Windham Hill Records: 1985

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This review first appeared in The Daily Aztec.

Veteran fusion pianist Don Grolnick finally steps out as leader on his first solo recording, "Hearts and Numbers." Not straying too far from familiar territory, it features saxophonist Michael Brecker – in whose band Grolnick has played for many years.

The eight songs on this release are all strong and interesting, ranging from his familiar fusion to more of a new age melodicism. "The Four Sleepers" is representative of the latter approach, with a meandering melody and a rather restrained rhythm. Brecker intersperses Grolnick's lead with some of his typically outstanding solos. "Pointing at the Moon" is in a fusion mode, reminiscent of early Return to Forever.

Throughout, the combination of Grolnick and Brecker provides more evidence of why the Brecker Brothers combo is one of fusion's most respected.