Trumpeter Joe Newman and trombonist Billy Byers co-lead this 1956 sextet date, which also features Gene Quill, Lou Stein, Milt Hinton, and Osie Johnson. Byers wrote most of the music for the date and the solos remain very fresh. The performances are comparable to other musicians' better-known dates that have had the benefit of better promotion by their record labels and wider exposure through reissues. Byers' songs are not only upbeat but his sense of humor is obvious in pun-filled titles like "Byers' Guide" and "Gin and Catatonic"; don't worry, "Fingernails on the Windowpane" is not an example of early avant-garde jazz! If you are fortunate enough to come across this release in a used record store or website, buy it immediately or you may never see it again in your lifetime, as it is hardly a high-priority candidate for reissue.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden