This trio of excellent Canadian musicians have been performing together for the last couple of years and are captured in a live performance from the Top of the Senator, one of Toronto's jazz venues. This session features standards plus a couple of Mike Murley originals. Murley's sax, which is out in front on most tunes, is definitely from the Lester Young school with a Stan Getz tone. With his handling of such tunes as "I Should Care" it's obvious that the youngish tenor man has heeded Young's injunction that to play a song well, you have to know the lyrics.
Murley is joined on this set by two veteran Canadian-based jazz musicians, both well known to jazz fans in the United States. Ed Bickert's guitar has been on the scene for years with many a fine recording under his belt. Steve Wallace who keeps matters in hand on bass has worked with the likes of Sam Noto and Kirk McDonald.
The album presents a balanced mix of slower paced and up tempo material. On the former, one of the album's highlights is a fresh and entertaining look at an old saw "Golden Earrings". The extemporaneous treatment given this tune by first Murley and then Bickert's clean line guitar, breathe new life into a song that has been moribund for awhile. "It's all Right with Me" is a good example of an up tempo performance done with verve and taste. The light, delicate tone of Murley's sax combined with Bickert's intelligent, lyrical guitar playing will bring back memories for many of those elegant meetings between Paul Desmond and Jim Hall for RCA Victor between 1959 and 1965. Bickert should also feel right at home since he worked with Desmond.
This album makes for nice listening and is recommended. Visit Murley at his web home at www.mikemurley.com.
Personnel: Mike Murley - Tenor Saxophone; Ed Bickert - Guitar; Steve Wallace - Bass