Three CDs' worth of material was recorded in 1986 by a band that was only together for one week, time spent playing at a short-lived New York club called Carlos I. In fact, the full group actually played together for less than a week, for, unlike other volumes that feature Don Pullen on piano, this CD has pianist Mulgrew Miller. Otherwise the quintet is still comprised of baritonist Hamiet Bluiett, bassist Fred Hopkins, drummer Idris Muhammad, and Chief Bey on ashiko drum. The group plays three Bluiett originals (including the Coltrane-ish blues "John" and "Wide Open"), a rather explorative version of "Sophisticated Lady," and Miller's "Eastern Joy," which hints strongly at music of the Far East. Although Miller does not fit into the band quite as well as Pullen (his McCoy Tyner-inspired playing sounds a bit conservative compared to Bluiett and Hopkins), there is plenty of spirit to this music. All three discs from this one-time gig are recommended to fans of the great baritonist Hamiet Bluiett.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow