The meeting of trumpeter Art Farmer and reed king Yusef Lateef with pianist/arranger David Matthews fronting a big band is a momentous one. The relaxed pace of the set, with its reliance on easy jazz-funk (the title track) and extended funky workouts with stunning hard bop charts by Matthews on "Flute Song," makes for one of the most provocative looks at groove jazz in the CTI label's history. Farmer and Lateef were able to walk the line of sophisticated jazz and bumping funky soul with relative ease. Matthews' charts are breezy, and they rely on rhythm to form not only the backbone for the soloists but to fill up the middle space as well. Guitarist Hiram Bullock walks a wonderful line here between hard swinging airy extrapolations of jazz chord voicings and lean rhythmic R&B. His solo on "Flute Song" is one of his best on record. Likewise, the reading of Chick Corea's "Spain," which references "Concierto de Aranjuez" and features a gorgeous tenor break by Lateef, is a steamy Latin carnival read of the tune with bass-drenched overdrive. "Saudade" is the epitome of soul-jazz for a big band; its groove is loose, loping, and in the pocket rhythmically and Farmer and Lateef blow the melody all over the front, checking in with each other on the solos and turning the groove back on itself. This is a certain addition to any Farmer shelf, and it's worth whatever you pay for it.
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek