How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Although these veteran performers at the 18th Floating Jazz Festival had been around for quite, they had never played together as a group. There was also a bit of concern with having a baritone sax and clarinet on the front line. Not unexpectedly with these highly skilled artists, their concerns were unjustified. Joe Temperley, who is the first call to "play" Harry Carney when a tribute to Duke Ellington is being put together, and Kenny Davern, whose resume reads like and an encyclopedia of jazz, step up as if they did this every night. On such tunes as "Bernie's Tune", Davern shows such an uncommonly high level of swing and digital dexterity. Ensemble playing is first rate as well especially on "Blue Monk" and the mix of clarinet and baritone sax leave the listener with very pleasant sensations of rich resonance, especially as Davern adopts an especially woody tone to the long stick. The work of "Creole Love Call" with Temperley picking up the bass clarinet, is worth the price of admission (and a bit of seasickness) alone. Temperley's light swinging tone is evident throughout the session and after hearing him, it's clear he is one of the top baritone men around today.
But this is in no way a two man show. The other members of the group get more than their share of space such as John Bunch's solo on "Three Little Words" and Joe Ascione's drum breaks on "Undecided". This album is mainstream, swinging jazz at its most uplifting and is highly recommended. Not only is the music outstanding, but there's lots of it..more than 73 minutes!.
Track Listing: Bernie's Tune; Mood Indigo; Three Little Words; Blue Monk; Blue Lou;
Creole Love Call; I Can't Believe That You're in Love with Me; Undecided
Personnel: Kenny Davern - Clarinet; Joe Temperley - Bari Sax/bass clarinet; John
Bunch - Piano; Joe Cohn - Guitar; Michael Moore - Bass; Joe Ascione -