sharing the front line with Magnarelli. The album has a full, rich, sound courtesy of producer Marc Free and engineer Nick O'Toole. It showcases the five musicians as a group and the result is powerfully seductive.
Magnarelli and Davis form a strong front linepunchy and tough on Magnarelli's "44" and John Handy
provides the expert support that ensures the lead players shine as brightly as they can. Brown is the driving force, Karn's cool and reliable, Wonsey is a master of comping. Even without Magnarelli or Davis the three men hold the attention, establishing a groove or a mood with easeon their brief but cool intro to the leader's "Blue Key" for example, or during Karn's energetic solo on "Suddenly It's Spring."
Magnarelli takes on the leader's role with aplomb. His playing is consistently superb. On his own "Inner Beauty" he's controlled yet romantic, characteristics that also define Wonsey's solo: on John Coltrane
's "Miles' Mode" his muted trumpet flies over Karn and Brown's rhythmic foundation, the whole tune full of exuberant joy. Jimmy Van Heusen's "Darn That Dream" starts as a trumpet/piano duet then adds bass and drumsfrom start to finish it's a graceful and lyrical reading of the old standard.
Lookin' Up! closes with a fiery rendition of "In Walked Lila" which gives each musician a chance to loosen up and let rip. Five masterful talents, ten great tunes, that's Lookin' Up!.
Track Listing: 44; Third Set; Inner Beauty; You Go To My Head; Blue Key; Easy Transition; Suddenly It's Spring; Miles' Mode; Darn That Dream; In Walked Lila.
Personnel: Joe Magnarelli: trumpet, flugelhorn; Steve Davis: trombone; Anthony Wonsey: piano; Mike Karn: bass; Jason Brown: drums.