Since bassist Neal Miner was one of the regular players at Smalls in New York City for over a decade, it should be no surprise that producer Luke Kaven would be interested in releasing a CD by Miner on the Smalls record label. Leading a strong post-bop sextet including pianist Steve Ash, trombonist John Mosca, trumpeter Richie Vitale, tenor saxophonist Chris Byars and drummer Tom Melito, Miner's originals would fit into the play list of any band specializing in the genre. Highlights include the tasty "Blues for Red and Brown" (saluting two giants of the bass, Red Mitchell and Ray Brown), a mellow ballad and bass feature "The Evening Sound," along with the catchy "Night Owls," which showcases Mosca extensively. If there's any reservation about these performances, it is a minor one -- Byars' tendency to repeat the same lick (a snatch of "Stranger in Paradise"), though even far bigger names have been known to fall into such a pattern on recording dates or in live settings. Neal Miner is one of a host of best kept secrets among New York jazz club patrons, though the greater exposure through this recommended release may give him a little more recognition.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden