Grant Stewart's 2005 session for the Japanese Video Arts label features several musicians of his generation, including the highly regarded guitarist Joe Cohn and seasoned bassist Joel Forbes, drummer Phil Stewart, and the twenty-ish rising pianist Ehud Asherie. The tenor saxophonist's program mixes hard bop, Brazilian pop hits from the '60s, and originals in an enticing program. His performances of overlooked hard bop gems include Sonny Clark's "Cool Struttin'," Hank Mobley's breezy "Soul Station," and the Elmo Hope/Sonny Rollins collaboration "Carving the Rock," all interpreted with strong solos throughout. Stewart recalls the big-toned boppers of the '50s with his brisk setting of Billy Strayhorn's "Raincheck." His breezy take of "Felicidade" and the rhapsodic treatment of the bittersweet "Estate" also merit praise. Fellow tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander is an added guest for two of the leader's originals.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden