This session with guest saxophonist Oliver Lake joining the collective Trio Transition -- bassist Reggie Workman, pianist Mulgrew Miller, and drummer Frederick Waits -- represents a free bop supergroup. Those names promise much, and the recording delivers that and more. This conjoining of talents results in an adventurous, free-swinging session informed by a keen sense of structure. The group's ability to match expansive free blowing with intriguing song forms is most pronounced on the ensemble's version of Stanley Cowell's joyful waltz, "Effie." The special rapport among the members of the core trio lifts the music, and at the heart of the trio is bassist Reggie Workman. The aptly named Workman moves up any session he's on a couple notches, and he's at his best here laying down a foundation of expansive, elastic lines and contributing powerful solos. On the opener he instigates pianist Mulgrew Miller's journey from bebop into the free beyond. The much-underrated Frederick Waits is at once colorful and earthbound. He also contributes two pieces, including a tribute to fellow drummer Ed Blackwell that features metric trickery and interlocking piano and saxophone lines. Guest Oliver Lake feasts on the support he receives, delivering a number of hearty orations.
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AllMusic Review by David Dupont