Russ Nolan's second CD as a leader is an impressive meeting with pianist Kenny Werner's trio (bassist Johannes Weidenmüller and drummer Ari Hoenig, focusing primarily on his compelling originals. The leader primarily sticks to tenor sax, with a sound that isn't overly influenced by any one player in particular, while Werner's accomplished, diverse skills at the piano provide plenty of direction for Nolan. "Kilson's Groove," is a funky, insistent opener, followed by the racehorse "Stand Clear of the Closing Doors" (which overdubs a few subway sounds at the beginning before launching into a furious post-bop route. Nolan switches to soprano for the unusually constructed "Disheveled Waltz," a melancholy theme that takes unexpected paths. He also plays soprano in the playful Thelonious Monk-flavored "Diatonicus," a breezy, hip tune with plenty of angular lines. The one familiar piece is John Coltrane's "Naima," though Nolan's free-spirited approach takes it in a new direction. Recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden