Guitarist Jimmy Ponder is most closely associated with soul-jazz organ groups, so this quartet outing with pianist John Hicks, bassist Dwayne Dolphin, and drummer Cecil Brooks III is a happy surprise. During the bop-oriented set, Ponder takes a few numbers (including the opening "JP") unaccompanied, works well with Hicks (with whom he had not performed previously), and shows that he can play bop as well as almost anyone. Highlights of the superior straight-ahead set include "They Can't Take That Away from Me," "Love Theme from Spartacus," "The End of a Beautiful Friendship," and the Grover Washington, Jr.-associated "Mister Magic."
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow