Veteran drummer Ed Thigpen has led relatively few record dates throughout his long career, but when he does get into the studio to front a band, he has something to say. Joining him on these 2003 sessions are some promising young Scandinavians: trumpeter Jens Winther, tenor saxophonist Tomas Franck, pianist Kasper Villaume, and bassist Jesper Bodilsen. The leader contributed five compositions, including the strutting hard bop opener "Shake It Out," the intricate ballad "Wannabe" (which eventually needs lyrics to go with it), and the catchy bossa nova "Denise." The Scantet (as Thigpen calls his group) also works wonders with Duke Pearson's loping "Denise" and a driving rendition of Benny Harris' bop anthem "Reets and I." The influence of John Coltrane upon Franck is apparent in the tenor man's exotic and tense "Bombay." Winther shines in a magnificent take of "In a Sentimental Mood," which eventually segues into an equally moving performance of "It Might as Well Be Spring." Throughout the CD, Thigpen's seemingly effortless percussion clearly inspires his younger bandmates. Highly recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden