It would be hard to argue with bassist and leader Ron McClure when he assesses the musicians assembled here as being a “dream team”. Drummer Billy Hart alone guarantees the success of just about any record date he is a part of, while pianist Marc Copland has recently been turning heads with his own acclaimed series of Savoy dates. The ringer here is likely to be tenor saxophonist Rich Perry, at long last getting his due thanks to a viable gig with bandleader Maria Schneider and his own superlative SteepleChase discs.
What we have here are eight modern originals penned by McClure (albeit one cut written by Copland) that have been tailor-made for the ensemble on deck. Perry’s virile and ingenious solo work is of great interest throughout, as are Copland’s expansive forays. McClure judiciously spreads his solo time throughout the set, while Hart colors each composition with a style that is marked by his innovative use of cymbal colors and textures.
No need here to go into boundless track-by-track detail, except to say that fans of McClure’s mainstream fare will no doubt revel in this latest set to see an American release.
Personnel: Ron McClure- bass, Rich Perry- tenor saxophone, Marc Copland- piano, Billy Hart- drums
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.