The Hang is Wainapel's worthy follow-up to Ambrosia: The Music of Kenny Barron, and Barron himself headlines the band on this release. Wainapel's distinctive, muscular saxophone voice is on display here, as are the collective talents of Larry Grenadier (bass), Kenny Wollesen (drums), and Phil Grenadier (trumpet). There is a heavy Brazilian flavor to this album, in keeping with the leader's style, and Wainapel wrote or arranged half of the tracks. Wainapel and Barron work particularly well together and maintain a sultry, almost mysterious groove throughout. Each of the soloists is given plenty of space to develop his ideas and the result is a consistent work of seductive beauty. Highlights include the soulful Wainapel original, "The Buzzard, " the powerful Cecil McBee tune, "Wilpan's," and Barron's memorable contributions to "La Lausanneoise." Of all the horns, Wainapel is particularly effective on soprano saxophone, as in the pretty "Blues for Sophia," and Phil Grenadier takes a memorable turn on Wayne Shorter's, "Pinocchio." Listeners won't be cheated by the 70 minutes of fine music performed on this recommended set.
AllMusic Review by Brian Bartolini