Since his days with the McCoy Tyner trio, Avery Sharpe has been standing audiences on their collective ear with his virtuosity and fantastic technique. A more seasoned, mature, and even slightly restrained Sharpe appears on this live-in-studio session from WGBH in Boston, with always able pianist Onaje Allan Gumbs and drummer Winard Harper. As a composer and set list determinator, Sharpe hits the mark every time with selections by himself, Tyner, and Gumbs playing pretty or ripping through heady neo-bop territory with nary a sign of sweat. The trio flashes through a frantic "Dragon Fly" as Gumbs scurries about the piano, then settles in for some bluesy refrains. Slap bass identifies Sharpe's "I Understand," while he and Gumbs join together for the deft and quirky, fleet melody of "Oh No," but they hold tension and release beautifully on the classic Yusef Lateef composition "Morning." Gumbs can play politely as on Tyner's "Blues on the Corner," but generally goes with the flow throughout this set of wide-ranging, dynamic piano trio music that stands a cut above within this well-worn format. It's a very satisfying date that mainstream jazz fans will applaud and cheer for, as Avery Sharpe deserves every standing ovation he might receive.
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AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos