In the liner notes of YOU CALL THIS A LIVING? Arturo Sandoval recalls the first time he heard Wayne Bergeron play. "What a hell of a lead player," Sandoval remembers thinking, and then goes on to attest to the trumpeter's continued high standard of performance, recommending the album wholeheartedly. With kudos like these from the one and only Sandoval, it's hard not to give Bergeron the benefit of the doubt.
As a musician, Bergeron does not disappoint. His high, bright tone recalls Dizzy Gillespie, and his flawless articulation and phrasing serve him equally well during quick, chromatic runs or sweeping lyrical passages. The large band here packs plenty of punch on standard bop outings like "Rhythm Method," Latin groovers like "Horn of Puente" and novelties like the swing version of Tchachikovsky's "Waltz of the Flowers" and a jazzified "America the Beautiful." The range of the compositions and the impressive technical command that is everywhere in evidence from the musicians here make Bergeron's debut as a leader an album to note.