Jeff Beal is a superior trumpeter based in Los Angeles, and an equally talented arranger/composer. He has been heard in a variety of settings throughout his still-young career, from small-group sessions to those using larger bands, but this particular CD is a bit unusual. Beal's trumpet playing is showcased on four selections apiece with the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra in 1994 and the Metropole Orchestra in 1996. Since the writing is adventurous (all eight compositions are by the leader) and the huge number of musicians (other than Beal) do not improvise, one can think of the music as being third-stream, a mixture of jazz and classical. However, even with the occasionally lush string section, the music always has jazz sensibilities. "Miles to Go" (on which Beal to an extent purposely emulates Miles Davis) and the four originals "North," "South," "East" and "West" are among the highlights of the continually intriguing set, which grows in interest with each listening.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow