Bassist Teepe (who bears facial resemblance to tennis star Andre Agassi!) presents his dual saxophone based, modern mainstream jazz quintet live at the after hours basement club Smalls in NYC. Don Braden and Chris Potter both use soprano and tenor, Potter tripling on alto sax, while pianist David Hazeltine and drummer Bruce Cox round out this band of new young lions, who present a thrill-a-minute, fully realized program of enjoyable, swinging music. Starting with a "Killer Joe" walking bassline, Teepe and friends have conjured a witty new arrangement on the classic Billy Strayhorn ballad "Chelsea Bridge," stepping up the tempo considerably and adding clever stop-start, drum cued stacatto accents to the melody. A lilting waltz for two sopranos "Five Bears," free intro to churning bright sax unison, counterpoint loaded bridge 4/4 mambo of "Second Avenue Story" and light bossa on Paul Simon's "I Do It For Your Love" is led by Braden's tenor, folowed by Potter's soprano, all hold your interest. A quirky dual sax line in "Blues For Claudia" is far from a love song, though a light swinger, while easy, effortless, soulful swing informs "Brother Braden." More stacatto and directly connected be bop ideas fuse together in the complex, hard swinging title cut, while the horns lay out as Teepe reaps rewards of blue regret, Hazeltine joining late on the ballad "You Don't Know What Love Is." The finale is a tenor duel, a hard bop blowout on Freddie Hubbard's "Up Jumped Spring." The musical and sonic balance produced by this band is palpable and at times remarkable. This live club date is easy to recommend, but open to speculation as to the unlimited potential of Teepe - especially as a writer - considering he threw this set list and subsequent charts together in short order (two weeks prior) for the session.
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AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos