The brilliant pianist Adam Makowicz had difficulty getting a proper recording made in his early days after emigrating from his native Poland to the U.S. But these Sheffield Lab dates, originally recorded during two separate sessions via direct-to-disc (so there was no editing or remixing involved) with just a single stereo-point microphone gave him the high quality audio that made up for typical low budget studio dates. Joining him throughout both sessions are bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Bill Goodwin, with the masterful alto saxophonist Phil Woods and percussionist Gene Estes present on most tracks. Seven of the eight selections are the pianist's own, with the sole standard featuring the leader's Art Tatum-like romp through Cole Porter's "You Do Something to Me," with a spirited solo by Woods and a fine chorus by Estes on vibes. Makowicz's sassy blues "Dirty Blue," his driving "Tough Chic," and the Latin-flavored "Bop Do Combo" also stand out. Great music, but it won't be easy to acquire, due to the demise of the label.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden