Drummer Rick Hollander and his modern mainstream quartet present ten selections that hold an easily enjoyable melodicism, steady swing, and arrangements that keep things interesting. The leader expresses lightning-quick wit, obvious flexibility, and musical talent, along with a restraint from hogging the spotlight. When he solos it is to the point. Tenor saxophonist Tim Armacost sounds like a young Stan Getz -- his lines are breezy, warm, and fluid. Bassist Will Woodard and pianist Walter Lang prove a high degree of musicality and swing-oriented abilities throughout. Bandmembers contribute half the material. Armacost's "Point of the Pen" is a good swinging number in a Blue Note/Riverside, late-'50s style, while "Pull" is a quick waltz with changes similar to "My Heart Belongs to Daddy," with Lang digging into McCoy Tyner-like modal chords. The pianist wrote the title track, a lilting, 3/4 piano intro to swift tenor-piano unison and bright sax from Armacost. Woodard's "Big Stacey" is a midtempo swinger, while Hollander's lone comp "Some Lovely Dreams" has free-based tom tom tones leading into a 6/8 figure with piano and bass forming a kinetic partnership -- the band cut loose here more than on any other track. The five standards are arranged uniquely: "My Old Flame" changes from dour ballad and light funk to midtempo, "I Should Care" cares nonchalantly, "A Beautiful Friendship" has the most challenging chart with stop-start antics and melodic trickery, "Theme for Ernie" (Henry) is another easy swinger, and "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" is a true slow ballad. It's clear this is a band, not a pick-up. That united feeling always makes for fine music making, and there's plenty of that from this combo of young yet experienced musicians. Recommended.
AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos