Renee Rosnes, who left her native Canada to settle in New York and play with Joe Henderson, Jon Faddis and her own groups, is an excellent pianist inspired by early Herbie Hancock and McCoy Tyner. She heads a top New York sextet on this CD that includes the potentially great trumpeter Nicholas Payton (here showing a strong Freddie Hubbard influence), bassist Peter Washington, drummer Al Foster and percussionist Don Alias. However the musician who makes the biggest impression on the date is Chris Potter, mostly on tenor but also contributing some effective soprano, bass clarinet and alto flute. Potter, who by the mid-'90s already had his own sound on each of his instruments, gained his earliest recognition playing with Red Rodney's quintet in the 1980s but has since developed into a major postbop stylist with an explorative and colorful style. It is for his playing on these selections (five of which are challenging Rosnes originals) that Ancestors is chiefly recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow