Steve Smith and Buddy's Buddies: Steve Smith and Buddy's Buddies
The high-octane numbers include Horace Silver’s "Nutville," Sonny Rollins’s "Airegin," Coltrane’s "Moment’s Notice," and Sammy Nestico’s "Ya Gotta Try." The energy is all there, but it just doesn’t swing as it would with a straight-ahead rhythm section. Missing is the light touch that distinguishes even the most burning swing. "Moment’s Notice" comes closest to succeeding—the soloists handle the difficult tune well and the head arrangement contains a few surprises.
"You Stepped Out of a Dream" and "Cool" (from West Side Story) are decent trio features for Fusco’s alto and Musiker’s piano, respectively. "Norwegian Wood," by The Beatles, is a Coltrane rip-off. "New Blues," a slower minor-key swing tune, puts the rhythm section in a better light. And Michel LeGrand’s "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?" features fine tenor work by Marcus, who manages to transcend to the cocktail-hour pleasantness of the arrangement.
Record Label: Tone Center