Ronnie Mathews

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Legacy Review

by Scott Yanow

Pianist Ronnie Mathews assembled an all-star group (tenor saxophonist Ricky Ford, trumpeter Bill Hardman, bassist Walter Booker, Jr. and drummer Jimmy Cobb) for this hard bop set. Mathews had long been a distinctive but underrated player and is heard in prime form on a varied program including two of his songs, a pair of Tex Allen originals, "Suicide Is Painless," "A Child Is Born" and "Once I Loved." The musicians all live up to their potential, making one wish that the Bee Hive releases of the late 1970s were available on CD.