The early 20-something trumpeter Mayfield has his sextet solidly planted in the post-to-hard-bop jazz of the late '50s. Trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis and alto saxophonist Wessell Anderson form an impressive young frontline with Mayfield, bassist Carlos Enriquez, and drummer Jaz Sawyer, who get to their business in fine style. It is pianist Eric Reed, however, whose star shines brightly on this blowing club date. Mayfield and Anderson stretch the parameters of their horns prior to Reed cutting loose on the one tune you'd expect this Jazz Messengers-ish type band to blast off on, "Moanin'." Another good old, blowing tune "Cherokee" is done to death, Reed trading fours with Sawyer. The lone duet piece "On the Sunny Side of the Street" has Mayfield and Reed skipping though the classic melody, the pianist in stride mode and also animated as if mocking a player piano's stiffness. The next two pieces are the most stretched-out: "West End Blues," at over 11 and a half minutes, is languid and slow; the 15-minute "Did You Call Her Today?" is an easy, patient, classic JATP-type jam. Mayfield and Marsalis introduce "You Don't Know What Love Is" while the rest join mid-chorus on this pristine ballad. The rip-roaring finale "Be-Bop" does have some fluffed melody notes, but these are hardly noticeable. It's a furious number with Anderson most animated, and Mayfield's tone typifying Dizzy Gillespie's persona during his solo, replete with bleats and high-end charges. Mayfield's future in the pantheon of young trumpeters as Nicholas Payton and Darren Barrett is further secured with the release of this CD.
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AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos