This surprising band led by drummer Colin Stranahan includes two alumni of the 2004 IAJE Clifford Brown/Stan Getz All Stars (the leader and bassist Dominic Thiroux) plus several other talented young men including tenor saxophonist Michael Bailey, multi-reed player Remy Le Boeuf, and pianist Pascal Le Boeuf. With most of the band's repertoire written by its members, all of whom show promise as both performers and composers, the band makes a striking impression, beginning with Remy Le Boeuf's intense post-bop opener, "Song for Briana #3." Thiroux's mournful "The Search" hooks the listener immediately with its hypnotic vamp and increasingly turbulent tenor sax solo, while his Latin-accented "No Thanks" makes the band sound like it has been together for years instead of months. The leader contributed the dreamy "Out of Reach," which adds vibraphonist Mark Clifford. Jim Stranahan, the drummer's father, wrote the brisk 12-bar blues "It's Not Always About You" and plays alto sax as well, while veteran trumpeter Greg Gisbert also adds a potent solo. This is an impressive beginning for this group of promising young musicians.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden