Best known as a member of the Kenny Barron Quintet and the Mingus Big Band, tenor and soprano saxophonist John Stubblefield's second Enja release and third recording as a leader unites the talents of pianist Mulgrew Miller, bassist Charnett Moffett, drummer Victor Lewis, and baritone saxophonist Hamiet Bluiett on three selections for an exciting program of six originals, three by Stubblefield, one each by Miller and Lewis, one by baritone saxophonist James "Jabbo" Ware, and one standard. Except for "The Wanderer," a smooth jazz track that concludes the CD, all of the music on Countin' on the Blues is top-notch post-bop. Miller's "Remembrance" is a medium-tempo Afro-Latin composition played by the rare front line of soprano and baritone sax. Lewis' "For Those Who Didn't Know" is a beautiful melody played by Stubblefield's tenor sax that begins slow then builds into medium swing. Ware's "Going Home" is an exotic vamp-driven composition that features explosive solos by Stubblefield and Bluiett. Stubblefield's " Montauk" is a medium up vehicle that features his soprano sax and Lewis' dynamic drumming while the title track is a rollicking blues shuffle that features everybody. This is one of the best jazz releases of the 1980s and a definitive statement from an under-recognized talent in jazz.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Turner