The sequence of tunes on this mid-'50s piano trio date was shuffled slightly in some of the reissues, the main idea seeming to be to bring on the Elmo Hope original entitled "Huh" a bit earlier in the program. Hope springs eternal, whether playing through a show tune or one of his crafty originals. He seems to have an idea how to make a tune sound different with just a few different shadings or a clever rhythmic impulse. His "All the Things You Are" is refreshing, a bit like hearing the tune for the first time, and the pair of Rodgers & Hart compositions are both beautiful and touching. Bassist John Ore and the underrated drummer Willie Jones were one of this pianist's best rhythm sections -- all three men bear down on "Blue Mo," the album's final and longest track, as if they had ordered the presidential barbecue plate.
The Elmo Hope Memorial Album Review
by Eugene Chadbourne