A 30-year veteran of the NYC jazz and studio scene, this is unbelievably Del Gatto's debut recording as a leader. You know him (and Lou Marini) as the prime sax soloists for the Saturday Night Live Band. Old friend Randy Brecker on trumpet, pianist/organist Ron Feuer, guitarist Joe Cohn, bassist Chip Jackson, and drummer Victor Lewis comprise this stellar ensemble, with SNL bandmate Steve Turre on trombone occasionally. Del Gatto is one of the warmest, most mature, original sounding tenor saxophonists you will ever hear. He's cliché free, cool, extraordinarily literate, and tuneful. He is also an intriguing modern mainstream composer as evidenced on half of the ten tracks. They include two truly outstanding cuts: the great swing groove with guitar/tenor unison and organ backing on the title cut, and the stealth, bitter shuffle "Long Divorce Blues" with a hefty tenor/guitar lead and "Sidewinder"-type two-chord organ accents. Perhaps an Arnold Becker theme song? "Ain't Too Hip (To Hip Hop)" is a simple, contemporary guitar/organ-oriented groove biscuit supporting three horns. Del Gatto adapts two famous standards, one, an extrapolated line on "Our Delight" called "Barbados Delight," edits the original Tadd Dameron line with three horns, a patented Turre solo and "Ornithology"-type solo from Cohn. The version of "Just Friends" as "And Friends" has Brecker and the leader jumping in and out of the melody, utilizing double stops, and a rambling, hard charging attitude. Standards include the "Seven Comes Eleven" bassline informing the hard swinging, three-horn "Caravan" with Lewis' always compelling drum solo, the well swung "I Thought About You," and 12-plus minute, modally vamped, improv stretched "My One & Only Love." Del Gatto is also a prime ballad purveyor as proven in his solid, lustrous interpretation of the interesting choice "Autumn Nocturne" and the piano/tenor only ice melter "You Don't Know What Love Is." Make no mistake that this is a wonderful document of Del Gatto's musical powers, using an attractive combination of instruments and great compositions. Del Gatto's definitely got it, and this is a strong candidate for jazz CD of 2000.
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AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos