While Bob Montgomery and Al Hermann might not be names on the tip of the tongue of a typical jazz fan, the two veteran musicians (both of whom have extensive musical résumés) have the rare chemistry that keeps things interesting throughout an entire session. The trumpeter and trombonist are joined by guitarist Dave Corbus, bassist Ken Walker and drummer Chris Lee for a wide-ranging trip through a baker's dozen jazz compositions, including a number of less frequently played numbers arranged by Montgomery and producer John McNeil, frequently featuring three- and four-part harmony. They devour Wayne Shorter's post-bop "United" and the late Bobby Jaspar's bop cooker "Bobby's Minor." They find new ground within well-known gems like Tadd Dameron's "Ladybird" and a surprisingly brisk take of Benny Golson's normally hip, nonchalant "Killer Joe." They close with the richly textured blues "Talkin'," a miniature duet which the two leaders jointly composed. This date is full of musical surprises and is warmly recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden