Clarinetist Bill Smith, a member of Dave Brubeck's octet in the late '40s and a future soloist with Brubeck's Quartet starting in the '80s, recorded three albums with the pianist in the interim. The Riddle finds him temporarily taking altoist Paul Desmond's place with the Quartet and contributing all eight compositions which utilize folkish melodies that are related to the English song "Heigh, Ho, Nodbody Home." Although not too essential, this little-known set gives Dave Brubeck a chance to play some unusual material.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow