Wayne Escoffery's debut disc features a fine quartet, with Aaron Goldberg on piano, Joel Forbes on bass, and Carl Allen on drums. Brandishing a weighty tenor sax tone, Escoffery leads the group through three originals and five inspired cover arrangements. The laid-back but fiercely swinging "Come Back Lucky" starts off the session, followed by a relatively bright "Beatrice," a full-tilt "After You've Gone," and a touching "That's All." Back-to-back originals follow; the first, "Times Change," is a rhythmically involved swinger, while "Dawn" mellows things out and features the leader on soprano sax. Winding down, the group offers a 7/4 reading of Jobim's "Triste," with a funky modal vamp thrown in. Goldberg then sits out the finale, "Water Pistol," a satisfying mid-tempo rhythm changes tune by Yusef Lateef. Overall, the sound of the recording could be warmer, but Escoffery displays a highly impressive command of the music and the instrument.
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AllMusic Review by David R. Adler