It was a measure of Antonio Hart's confidence that he invited fellow alto great Gary Bartz to sit in on "At the Closet Inn" during his second recording date as a leader. It was also a measure of Hart's talents even at this early stage that he was not overshadowed by the intense if underrated Bartz. The nucleus band for this excellent advanced hard bop date consists of pianist Aaron Graves, bassist Rodney Whitaker, drummer Greg Hutchinson, and up-and-coming trumpeter Darren Barrett; trombonist Jamal Haynes and percussionist Kimati Dinizulu are also heard on two songs apiece. Hart performs seven originals, Duke Ellington's "Don't You Know I Care" and Quincy Jones' "Jessica's Day," displaying a fairly original tone and strong creative ideas within the tradition.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow