How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Time's Mirror is Tom Harrell's third recording for RCA and his first big band outing. Although Harrell is best-known for his small group work with Phil Woods and Horace Silver, he is no stranger to the big band idiom having worked with Stan Kenton and Woody Herman. It's interesting to note that most of Harrell's charts here date back to the 1960s when he was an undergraduate at Stanford University. Indeed, of the five originals on this 8-song program, only Daily News was written prior to this year. No matter, every tune is filled with sparkling melodies, impressive soloists and lush lyricism. Working with some of New York's finest jazz musicians Harrell's solo turns on trumpet and flugelhorn are loaded with smooth, flowing phrases. The leader also makes ample room for his sidemen to strut their stuff. Trombonist Conrad Herwig contributes to Train Shuffle, tenor saxophonist Alex Foster is featured on Shapes and Autumn Leaves, and Don Braden's tenor enlivens Time's Mirror and Train Shuffle. A sumptuous, reflective piece of work. ****