Hadley Caliman recorded a few albums in the 1970s, then didn't record as a leader for several decades until after retiring from his teaching job, then came a series of CDs issued by Origin, of which this is the third. This reunion with fellow tenor saxophonist Pete Christlieb marks their first opportunity to play together since the mid-'60s, aside from one brief meeting in the 40-plus-year stretch leading up to this record date. Many two-tenor sax sessions end up being battles, but the two veterans are old friends who aren't trying to top one another and instead focus on inspiring each other's playing. The potent rhythm section includes pianist Bill Anschell, bassist Chuck Deardorf, and drummer John Bishop, all seasoned players who provide excellent support throughout the date. There's plenty of fire in the rousing workout of "Love for Sale." The very deliberate setting of "I Thought About You" features some of Caliman's most powerful solo work, while the two tenor men have a ball in the loping treatment of Freddie Hubbard's timeless jazz waltz "Up Jumped Spring." The bulk of the CD features strong original compositions. Caliman contributed the vibrant "Comencia," blending a slight Afro-Cuban flavor in a brisk bop vehicle, as well as the hypnotic "Gala," which proves to be the most dramatic performance of the session. Christlieb wrote the fun-filled "Nasty Green" (a barely disguised reworking of the old warhorse "Limehouse Blues") and "Dream On" (utilizing the chord progression of "Darn That Dream"), the latter a solo feature for its composer. Anschell penned the infectious bop vehicle "Little Dex" (yet another "I Got Rhythm" variation, though not one that is blatantly obvious) and the funky blues "Wide Stance," both of which put a fire under the co-leaders. Thomas Conrad's detailed liner notes give the breakdown as to the order of the tenor solos and who is playing the heads, which is always appreciated.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden