A veteran of groups led by trumpeters Terence Blanchard and Nicholas Payton, this is drummer Adonis Rose's debut as a leader. For Song for Donise, he gathered his colleagues from Payton's quintet -- Payton, tenor saxophonist Tim Warfield, pianist Anthony Wonsey, and bassist Reuben Rogers -- to perform five post-bop originals, two standards, and one jazz classic, Miles Davis and Wayne Shorter's "ESP," played at an incredibly fast tempo. As this is a working band that has toured regularly and has recorded under Payton's name on Verve, the group's sound becomes the recording's focus, although the feel seems looser and more energetic than on Payton's recordings, best exemplified by the interplay between Payton and Warfield on "Dia's Blues," an up-tempo number on which Payton and Warfield play different melodies and solo collectively. Other highlights include Wonsey's "Seventy Ninth Street," an up-tempo swinger built on some well-placed drum hits on which Wonsey quotes Leon Parker's "B.B.B.B" during his solo, and the Shorter-ish "Reflections," also written by Wonsey. This is a very good debut from a fine young musician.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Turner