While nominally a studio-only group of leaders, One for All here turn in a live set demonstrating that it's good for any band to get in front of people now and then. This by-now long-lived sextet (even the rotating bass chair seems to have settled with John Webber) has a very set idea of what it is as a traditional hard bop small-band jazz ensemble with three horns -- saxophonist Eric Alexander, trumpeter Jim Rotondi, and trombonist Steve Davis -- and rhythm section with pianist David Hazeltine and drummer Joe Farnsworth joining Webber. The tunes are in standard form, with a head followed by several solos handed around the band. Thus, Rotondi's "Big G" opens things with successive Alexander, Davis, Rotondi, and Hazeltine showcases. Webber doesn't get his own solo until Alexander's "Open and Shut," following the saxophonist and Hazeltine. The group pays tribute to Cedar Walton on both his "Dear Ruth" and Hazeltine's "For Cedar," sandwiched around Alexander's lengthy "Nemesis," which allows plenty of room for Farnsworth to solo. Another primary influence is cited in John Coltrane's "Moments Notice," which is, in effect, the closer, since Farnsworth's brief "Prime Time" is the accompaniment to the band introductions. This is a democratic group that allows everybody a say, and they all prove themselves capable; that also means, however, that there isn't that much of a group identity.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann