Maximum Firepower was recorded by the Cannonball Legacy Band, an ensemble dedicated to the Cannonball and Nat Adderley spirit of jazz, albeit not necessarily their tunes (though there are a pair of Nat's on this set). Drummer Louis Hayes, a stalwart, fluid, and funky player has been through all the changes in the music since the hard bop era, and his group here comes out swinging. As a whole, this music falls on the hard bop side of the fence but there is a fairly stunning ballad in the gorgeous reading of "Autumn Leaves." The front line of alto saxophonist Vincent Herring and trumpeter, cornetist, and fluegelhornist Jeremy Pelt are knotty force players steeped in melodic improvisation on the blues. There are two pianists on the session as well -- which was recorded by Rudy Van Gelder at his home studio -- Rick Germanson and Anthony Wonsey, along with bassist Richie Goods. Excellent versions of Nat Adderley's "Little Boy with the Sad Eyes," and "Sack O' Woe" are here, along with the Bobby Timmons number "This Here" and Charles Lloyd's "Sweet Georgia Bright." Hot, swinging jazz from an expert quintet.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek