Donald Brown's series of recordings for the French label during the 1990s shows a continuous growth from his earlier dates for Muse. He puts his own stamp on McCoy Tyner's thunderous "Utopia" and compelling ballad "All My Yesterdays." Brown's dazzling introduction to Charlie Chaplin's "Smile" gives it an entirely new face, while he sizzles on Bill Mobley's "49th Street" in a sparkling duet with guitarist Jerome Barde. Brown's compositions were recorded by a number of other artists during the 1990s for a good reason: they stood out from the mass of new works that appeared during that time. The pianist's originals on this CD include the catchy but not overly sentimental "The McGhaw's Place"; "French Kiss," which features lively percussion by Billy Kilson and an infectious vamp that continues to inspire the musicians; and, finally, "A Poem for Martin," a somewhat dark Latin-flavored piece featuring percussionist Anga Diaz. This is yet another excellent CD by Donald Brown.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden