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Common Tones features four generations of musicians. The first eight tunes were recorded with the younger artists, each of whom has been quickly establishing their place in the world of jazz in recent years. The next four tracks, which were performed with the veteran players, form and homage to two of Napoleon’s most influential mentors, tenor saxophonist Donald Walden and trumpeter Louis Smith. And the final tune, “Lessons Learned,” brings it all together.
Common Tones is Napoleon’s second record on Detroit Music Factory. It explores the balance that comes from the intergenerational musical exchange that is as foundational to jazz as any elements of sound or expression.