Redux. AAJ 's John Sharpe opined a brief and sharp-creased assessment of this record in the November issue. I am chiming in to add some observations, not to try and improve on Mr. Sharpe's commentary.
The Heart of the Matter. Irby's performances with Ed Cherry on acoustic guitar reminds me of the Frank Morgan Collaboration Listen to the Dawn. Irby certainly lacks Morgan's "wounded" tone and phrasing, but their approaches with guitar accompaniment are parallel. He transverses the universe of Post Bop using the sextet ("Big Mama's Biscuits"), trio ("Conversing with Cannon"), and duo ("Take the 'A' Train") formats much in the same way that Joe Henderson has on his most recent recordings. This makes for a diverse mix of presentations. This disc never gets boring.
Conversing with Cannon, 'Bama, Lake Tuscaloosa, Big Mama's Biscuits, Passage of Time, Too High, Aunt Dorothy, Take the "A" Train, Call to Order, Away from Home, We're gonna Be Alright.
Sherman Irby: Alto Saxophone; Gerald Cannon: Bass, Clifford Barbado: Drums; Ed Cherry: Guitar; Dana Murray: Drums; James Hurt: Piano; Roy Hargrove: Trumpet.