The chemistry between Brian Lynch and Bill Charlap should come as no surprise to anyone who has heard their work together as members of the Phil Woods Quintet. This 2003 session features the trumpeter and the pianist with bassist Dwayne Burno and drummer Joe Farnsworth. The opener is a very refreshing arrangement of the frequently recorded standard "On Green Dolphin Street"; the 7/4 time signature and Charlap's unusual vamp help it to stand out, with Lynch's muted trumpet leading the way. The leader switches to flügelhorn for a lush treatment of "Autumn Nocturne." The disguised introduction and snappy scoring of "My Heart Stood Still" bring new life to a decades-old chestnut by Rodgers & Hart. Charlie Parker's bebop blues "Cheryl" is also in great hands, opening with the tricky unison of Lynch's muted horn and Charlap's piano, followed by their terrific solos. Lynch's three originals also measure up to the standards present, which include the somewhat brisk waltz "Before the First Cup" (with Lynch on flügelhorn), the blazing bop line "On the Dot," and the snappy finale, "Blues for Gilad." Burno and Farnsworth make a superb rhythm section throughout the date. And it shouldn't be surprising that Woods' liner notes all full of praise for this top-notch CD.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden