The music on this collection headed by trumpeter Bobby Lewis spans a seven-year period, with the personnel constantly changing. While most of the performances fit into hard bop with a few numbers being Latin jazz pieces, there are some colorful departures. "The Shining Sea" is a ballad featuring the duet of Lewis' warm horn and Jim Ryan's synthesized strings. An atmospheric "Dreamsville" has Lewis overdubbing on four flügelhorns and a trumpet while Burl Lane is heard on four bassoons and tenor. And Jelly Roll Morton's "Grandpa's Spells" features the leader on both cornet and alto trumpet while joined by tuba and drums for a version that fits the New Orleans style well. In addition to those departures, the remainder of the program is of consistently high quality, with fine solos throughout by Lewis, Pat Mallinger on alto and tenor, guitarist Curtis Robinson, and keyboardist Jim Ryan. Overall, Instant Groove is an excellent introduction to the recordings of the talented Chicago trumpeter Bobby Lewis.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow