The title perfectly summarizes this quintet date -- hard bop and standards delivered professionally and competently by an experienced band. Greg Abate is a fluid alto and tenor saxophonist who executes the chord changes, progressions, and solos efficiently, while trumpeter Claudio Roditi adds some Afro-Latin spice and hot licks, and pianist Hilton Ruiz, bassist George Mraz, and drummer Kenny Washington keep the rhythmic center together. Mraz's bass sounds undermiked at times, but otherwise this date does exactly what it set out to: showcase jazz professionals comfortable in their environment and with their material.
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AllMusic Review by Ron Wynn