Trumpeter Tom Harrell employs a big band on his latest album. While hard bop stands alone as his major field in today’s jazz community, Harrell’s roots trace through the big bands of Stan Kenton and Woody Herman before he joined Horace Silver in 1973. While all the arrangements are Harrell’s, most of them were drawn up in the 1960s when he was a music composition undergraduate at Stanford University.
Harrell’s title track is a recent composition. The ballad evokes a daydreaming quality and is intended to relate the way slow jazz can put you in a mood suitable for reflection. "Time’s Mirror," "Train Shuffle" and "Daily News," the three newer compositions, provide interesting rhythmic variations with appropriately dense harmony. Harrell’s earlier student arrangements reflect a pleasant Sammy Nestico voicing while subjecting the harmony to bare, open consonance. With a big band chosen from among New York’s finest, the leader makes ample room for improvised sharing. Standout solo spots include Conrad Herwig on "Train Shuffle," Alex Foster on tenor for two numbers, pianist Xavier Davis on several, Mark Gross’ alto on "Sao Paulo," and Don Braden for "Time’s Mirror" and "Train Shuffle." Recommended, the trumpeter’s latest album as leader swings with a stirring big band sound behind his trumpet and flugelhorn role-model voice.