Blue Note, 2003, CD
Jazz Ruler Type: Bebop
O’s Notes: Joe (ts) showed up for this live performance with a full brass contingent. Four other saxophones, a trumpet and trombone join the solid rhythm section of John Hicks (p) Dennis Irwin (b) and Lewis Nash (d). They play seven ‘extended’ tunes allowing for soloing opportunities for each of the players. The introductory opener “At The Vanguard” swings nicely, capped by a call and response featuring Lewis Nash in the final minute. They maintain that sense of poise throughout the set. While the brass has power, they modulate it well with smooth, warm passages that are simply delightful. The soothing ballads like “After The Rain” are balanced with bouncy harmonized numbers like “Good Bait” and Lovano’s full-bodied tenor on “Laura”. This CD is the next best thing to having been there with the added benefit of not having to leave home!