Phil Woods' combos of the 1970s, '80s and '90s have helped to keep the tradition of bop alive by adding to the music's repertoire and featuring creative solos within bop structures; high musicianship and stable personnel have also helped. Recorded live at the 1987 Fujitsu-Concord Jazz Festival in Tokyo, Bouquet is a well-balanced set consisting of five lengthy workouts for the altoist's 1987 quintet (which also includes trumpeter Tom Harrell, pianist Hal Galper, bassist Steve Gilmore and drummer Bill Goodwin). "Theme From Star Trek" is taken at a blazing tempo that is highlighted by a fiery and witty tradeoff of two-bar phrases by Woods and Harrell. The trumpeter's moody ballad "Bouquet" precedes Hal Galper's "Tune of the Unknown Samba," a Latin piece that finds the pianist taking solo honors. Woods' emotional "Mom" and a surprisingly brisk "Willow Weep for Me" (with the altoist hinting at Eric Dolphy) wrap up this fine CD, easily recommended to Phil Woods' fans.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow