Over the course of a few days in early 1977, pianist Hilton Ruiz recorded enough music for a trio of Steeplechase albums. Excition is a strong example of Ruiz's ability as both a performer and arranger. Leading a solid quintet with saxophonist Frank Foster, trumpeter Richard Williams, bassist Buster Williams, and drummer Roy Brooks, the leader's "Dedicated to the Cooker" is a breezy hard bop vehicle that sparks his session mates. Foster penned the forward-thinking "Excition," on which he switches to soprano sax. He's back on tenor sax for another original, "The House That Love Built," a melodic ballad which omits Williams. The trumpeter contributed "Blues for Becky," a hip hard bop number. The original LP only had four tracks, so this CD reissue adds a take of Pharoah Sanders' "Origin," an enjoyable rendition but clearly not as strong as the originally selected material.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden