Steve Hobbs has long been one of the most talented if underrated vibraphonists around, and his playing recalls Bobby Hutcherson at times but also displays his own musical personality. On Spring Cycle, he performs five of his originals, three songs by pianist Bill O'Connell, and a couple standards. Performing with a core quartet including O'Connell, bassist Peter Washington, and drummer John Riley, Hobbs takes "On the Street Where You Live" and his own ballad "Jean" as showcases for the rhythm section. He welcomes trumpeter Tom Harrell and tenor saxophonist Bob Malach to most of the other selections, flutist Dave Valentine is on "Blued Swings" and "Para Mis Padres," and percussionist Steve Berrios sits in on the latter. The music ranges from hard bop to post-bop and contains its fair share of variety. While the odds are that none of the originals will catch on as future standards, they serve as viable vehicles for improvisation and the musicians are all in top form, particularly Harrell and Hobbs. This solid modern jazz set is easily recommended.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow