Dave Young is well known for his stint as Oscar Peterson's bassist for several years, as well as his excellent series of duets (recorded under his name for Justin Time) with some of the best pianists active during the 1990s. But this live recording from Toronto's Top of the Senator finds him leading a quintet of local musicians in a tribute to the works of Charles Mingus. Young's inventive basslines and veteran Terry Clarke's accomplished drumming keep the members of front line on their toes; the band also includes pianist Gary Williamson, trumpeter Kevin Turcotte, and tenor saxophonist Perry White. Their blistering performance of "Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am" (Mingus' reworking of "What Is This Thing Called Love" and a derivative tune by Tadd Dameron, "Hot House") is easily the highlight of the set, though the strong interpretation of "Goodbye Porkpie Hat," with Turcotte's haunting trumpet, is equally powerful. "Nostalgia in Times Square" showcases Williamson to advantage. The leader offers two fine originals, including the Latin-tinged post-bop vehicle "Bass Clef" and the miniature sign-off "Cherokee Revisited" (a wild reworking of the old standard), which is unfortunately incomplete. Originally recorded for broadcast by CBC Radio, this top-notch live set makes one wonder what else is stored in the network's archives.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden