Alto saxophonist/composer Glasser's project band is loaded with stars that shine brighter than his own, and this elevates his cachet to a very high level. Trumpet veteran Terry and peerless pianist Harris are joined by bassist Peter Washington and unsung drummer Curtis Boyd. Guests include trombonist Benny Powell, tenor saxophonist Frank Wess, and a pair of cameos from trumpeter Roy Hargrove. Glasser wrote eight of the 13 selections. There are several tracks that feature all four horn players, who swing effortlessly together on "The Intimacy of the Blues." Glasser leads as the rest nod in counter-harmonic agreement during Duke Ellington's "Blue Rose" and the "Foggy Day"-stylized Glasser original "FNH," and they collectively swing their posteriors off on "Jumpin' at the Woodside." The leader can bop with the best, wailing in deftly pronounced Phil Woods fashion for Thelonious Monk's "52nd Street Theme" with the witty ramblings of Harris, while the steaming, straight-ahead "Powell's Prance" pairs Glasser and Wess -- the alto being dominant -- with a short, mushy trombone solo and individual statements by Washington and Boyd. Hargrove's features with Glasser and the rhythm section are the darting unison, loose, and swinging line of the smartly titled "Bye-Yard" (assumedly for Jaki Byard) and Glasser's original ballad "Charise." Terry's upfront shot on flügelhorn uses Glasser on the second line of the torch song "The Nearness of You," which doubles time on a counterpointed bridge. Glasser and Terry's muted trumpet trade and talk back riffs in great chit-chat banter with zeal and zest on the title cut, the funnest of swingers. Glasser's thinly veiled vibrato wavers on the sexy ballad "Tranquility" while his lilting legato is displayed to good measure during the quick samba "A Touch of Kin." This is an excellent grouping of top-notch jazz musicians who have come together for the sole purpose of playing great music, and they succeed on nearly every count. It's also a great achievement for Glasser and another reminder of how wonderful Terry and Harris continue to be. Highly recommended.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos