Pepper Adams is accompanied by two fellow veterans of the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra (pianist Roland Hanna and bassist George Mraz) as well as drummer Billy Hart on the 1978 Reflectory studio date for Muse. Adams' approach to the baritone sax is sometimes a bit more aggressive and less melodic than Gerry Mulligan, which results in occasional inadvertent reed squeaks in his tricky opener, "Reflectory." Better is the outspoken yet still lovely treatment of Duke Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady." The most surprising track is his rapid-fire arrangement of the ballad "That's All," in which Hanna takes top solo honors. This recommended album is worth acquiring.
by Ken Dryden