Trombonist Jimmy Cleveland was a heavily in-demand session player, yet he led only a handful of record dates of his own, none after 1959. Leading an all-star septet with arrangements by either Benny Golson or Gigi Gryce, Cleveland primarily focuses on compositions by his peers, with the exception of Gryce's bop arrangement of "Crazy Rhythm," which showcases the leader's fluid yet mellow style. The band includes Jerome Richardson, Art Farmer, Benny Golson, Hank Jones, Milt Hinton and Osie Johnson. Golson's charts of two Oscar Pettiford tunes, the obscure blues "Old Reliable" (featuring Richardson on flute) and the well known "Tricrotism" (which surprisingly has no bass solo, instead featuring Richardson's baritone sax and the arranger's tenor sax), are very stimulating. Gryce scored Melba Liston's ballad "We Never Kissed" and his own "Reminiscing" to feature the leader to good effect. Long out of print, this Emarcy LP is long overdue to be reissued on CD.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden