This is the debut recording of Jim Ketch, a veteran trumpeter and jazz educator. This well-paced studio session, which includes tenor saxophonist Wally West, pianist Stephen Anderson, bassist Steve Haines, and drummer Thomas Taylor, is a refreshing change from many initial efforts, as it mixes familiar standards and jazz gems with lesser-known works and originals. The snappy scoring of Kenny Dorham's Latin/hard bop vehicle "Short Story" is an excellent introduction to the quintet, while John Coltrane's "Lonnie's Lament" omits the tenor, focusing on the lyrical playing of Ketch and Anderson's dramatic solo. Tom Harrell's "The Water's Edge" dates from the 1970s, an infectious jazz waltz showcasing Haines, West, and the trumpeter. Ketch and Anderson interpret "Over the Rainbow" as a dreamy duet, bringing new life to this frequently recorded standard. The leader's happy "Dancin' on the Rooster" recalls the swinging charts played by Count Basie during the early '60s, with Taylor's brushwork providing the peppy undercurrent. Anderson's "Moments of the Sublime" is a post-bop vehicle full of twists and turns, suggesting busy Manhattan nightlife. This CD serves as a valuable introduction to the work of Jim Ketch.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden