A promising young talent who emerged during the mid-'90s (though his first CD wasn't issued until 1999), alto saxophonist Mike DiRubbo changed his approach for this 2009 release, omitting piano in favor of veteran vibraphonist Steve Nelson, with bassist Dwayne Burno and the late drummer Tony Reedus rounding out the quartet. Seven of the nine pieces are originals by the saxophonist. DiRubbo's opener, "Repercussion," is an enticing blues riff that showcases the leader, Nelson, and Reedus in turn. "Highbridge Lullaby" is more of a breezy waltz, while the tense post-bop cooker "Nelsonian" has a playful call and response between DiRubbo and Nelson, along with sizzling solos. DiRubbo's alto shines in the buoyant setting of Dave Brubeck's "The Duke," while the sole standard is a heartfelt rendition of "Too Late Now." Mike DiRubbo shows plenty of potential with this exciting effort.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden