Grant Stewart is a solid mainstream tenor saxophonist who has proven himself to be well-versed in the jazz canon over his many albums as a leader. After recording several CDs for Sharp Nine with a traditional piano trio, Stewart opted for different backing for this 2010 session, with guitarist Peter Bernstein, bassist Peter Washington (who has recorded more than once with him), and drummer Phil Stewart. Opening with a nimble, hard-blowing bop setting of the the old 1920s war horse "Get Happy," Stewart switches to soprano sax for Tadd Dameron's infrequently performed "The Scene Is Clean," cooling things off a bit. There are several less familiar songs, including a robust interpretation of Alec Wilder's "That's My Girl," a snappy take of Duke Ellington's "Blue Rose" (which also showcases Washington to good effect), and pianist Barry Harris' cheerful bop vehicle "Around the Corner." Stewart again switches to soprano for a heartfelt rendition of the bittersweet ballad "Maybe September." Highly recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden