For this 2005 studio session, Vincent Herring switches to a rhythm section (pianist Danny Grissett, bassist Essiet Essiet, and drummer Joris Dudli) that he had previously worked with exclusively in Europe. Renato Chicco, Herring's former pianist, contributed the upbeat opener, "Ends and Means," showcasing the leader and Grissett. Dudli contributed the funky "Tom Tom" (featuring Essiet) and the driving "Thoughts," the latter showcasing the leader's powerful soprano sax, with trumpeter Jeremy Pelt (who appears on half of the tracks) adding an excellent muted solo. The funky adaptation of Benny Golson's "Stable Mates" takes it in a new direction, while Duke Ellington's "Caravan" is easily transformed into a powerful hard bop vehicle. Jazz musicians have been covering tunes from the vast Beatles songbook for decades, but Herring's breezy adaptation of "Norwegian Wood" almost suggests a Scottish flavor, with the spotlight upon Grissett's inventive solo. Highly recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden