This is tenor saxophonist Richard Cole's second album for the Origin label. Compared with the first outing, The Forgotten sports additional standards plus visits by outstanding artists such as Randy Brecker, Adam Nussbaum, and Joey Calderazzo. Cole is from the school of modern, progressive jazz. On such cuts as "Free Time," one hears the influence of Sonny Rollins with his hard bop and unique thematic improvisations, as well as the hard-driving free jazz idioms employed by the likes of Archie Shepp and Pharoah Sanders. "Somnambulist" finds Cole's sax less piercing, with a fuller and richer sound with help from the sumptuous-toned guitar of David Peterson. Matters lighten up on a swinging "Without a Song," with Randy Brecker's melodic trumpet kicking off before trading choruses with Cole. Brecker then launches into a high-speed improvisation on the melody with the rhythm of Randy Porter, Chuck Bergeron, and Gary Hobbs setting the cadence. This is a high-quality track. Ranking right up there with it is "The Midnight Sun," again with Brecker and Cole sharing solo honors and engaging in ear-catching ad libs on the melody. On this cut, Brecker's sparkling horn playing makes every note ring. Joey Calderazzo's quickly paced piano sets the pace on "The Best Thing for You." Both he and Cole use the melody and the chord structure as the points of departure for their enterprising improvisational flings. Adam Nussbaum's drum break shows why he is a drummer in demand, especially by those who are in the free, avant-garde corner of jazz. On this, his second outing, Cole shows he is still in the vanguard of hard-blowing, progressive tenors, with a softer side that emerges from time to time. Recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Dave Nathan