Recorded for a small label that proceeded to go broke, Dedication! would not be released until nine years after its initial recording. This seems odd considering the all-star cast of players. Pianist Duke Pearson is joined by trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, baritone player Pepper Adams, trombonist Willie Wilson, bassist Thomas Howard, and drummer Lex Humphries on seven selections. The set kicks off with Tommy Flanagan's "Minor Mishap," an upbeat piece that brings forth nice solos from everyone. This might be Pearson's session, but everybody is given plenty of room to cut loose. Wilson, for instance, is featured for the length of "The Nearness of You" and for a great deal of "Time After Time." This is fortunate in retrospect; he made few recordings and would pass away in 1963, two years after this record was made. Pearson also turns in a number of nice solos. Like Hank Jones, his light touch serves him well on instrumentals like "Blues for Alvina" and "Time After Time." The performances by Hubbard and Adams are topnotch throughout; they turn in first-rate work on numbers like Donald Byrd's "Lex" and the Pearson original "The Number Five." An important factor in the success of this album is the unusual combination of trumpet, trombone, and baritone saxophone that creates a resonant, full sound. Pearson would make a number of other fine recordings for Blue Note during the '60s, but none finer than this one. Dedication! serves as a fine introduction to a talented pianist.
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AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.