One of the most satisfying recordings to be released in 1980 (and since reissued on CD in the OJC series), this date by pianist George Cables (who contributed four of the six group originals) features trumpeter Freddie Hubbard (who brought in "Byrdlike") and tenor saxophonist Ernie Watts in fiery form; the two horn players took time off from their much more commercial efforts for other labels. Vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson is also in the sextet/septet with bassist Tony Dumas, drummer Peter Erskine, and sometimes percussionist Vince Charles; the one departure is "The Stroll," which is an adventurous piano-vibes duet by Cables and Hutcherson. The solos overall are concise and make expert use of each note. Cables' tunes (including "Morning Song," "I Told You So," and "Inner Glow") are generally catchy and memorable while "Byrdlike" gives the virtuosos an up-tempo blues to romp through. This logically conceived and well-paced set is a gem that is highly recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow