Other than an obscure 1971 Mainstream date, this Criss Cross album was trumpeter Johnny Coles' first as a leader since 1963. Best-remembered for being part of Charles Mingus' 1964 Sextet, Coles had continued growing as a trumpeter through the years while keeping his brittle sound and advanced hard bop style. His quartet set with pianist Horace Parlan, bassist Reggie Johnson and drummer Billy Hart finds Coles sticking exclusively to flugelhorn and performing three of his originals along with one apiece by Charles Mingus ("Duke Ellington's Sound of Love"), Wayne Shorter and Charles Davis. The fresh material and Coles' enthusiastic solos make this an album worth picking up.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow