Stand-Up Guys marked the first time that vibist Charlie Shoemake had ever played with tenor saxman Harold Land. Both of them had been active on the L.A. jazz scene for decades, and Shoemake had admired Land's playing since the '50s. But their paths didn't cross until they co-led this 1988 hard bop session, which employs Andy Simpkins or Bob Maize on bass, Larance Marable or Carl Burnett on drums, and the obscure, Wynton Kelly-influenced Randy Cannon on piano. Shoemake was quite enthusiastic about the chance to record with Land, and the two proved to be quite compatible on a high-speed version of Miles Davis' "Out of the Blue" and Shoemake originals like the pensive "Season's End" the perky title song, and the melancholy "Mourning for Mr. Mobley." (The latter is an ode to tenor master Hank Mobley, who died in 1986.) This CD's only vocal comes when Sandi Shoemake, a pleasant singer, has a guest spot on "When Your Lover Has Gone." Generally satisfying, Stand-Up Guys indicated that Shoemake and Land shouldn't have waited so long to record together.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson