One of the big differences between Be Bop and Hard Bop is the tempo. Sure there are many Hard Bop anthems that are plenty fast. But most of them make me think of Bobby Timmon's "Moanin'." Another difference is the band lineup. Trumpet, tenor, and trombone generally fronted the great Jazz Messengers. This gave the Hard Bop bands like the Messengers a small-big band feel. Ned Otter has approximated this front with the addition of a second saxophone in the guise of Hard Bopper and mentor George Coleman. Add to Coleman pianist Harold Mabern and the late Billy Higgins on drums and one is well on his way to a 1950s blowing session. Put Rudy Van Gelder in the booth and, well, you have So Little Time.
Mr. Otter is a serious tenorist in the guise of his mentor and melds well with him on this disc. Otter's compositions are suitably complex in the intelligent tradition of Wayne Shorter with the grit of Coleman and Hank Mobley. The front line of Otter, Coleman and Tom Kirkpatrick blow tight unison phrases that explode, piece after piece, into well conceived solos. So Little Time will appeal to anyone caught up in the 1950s heyday of Blue Note records.
Track Listing: So Little Time; Funny; Silhouette; The Right To Know; Panchromatic; Pass The Hat; Nica's Tempo; The Best Thing For You. (Total Time: 59:04).
Personnel: Ned Otter: Tenor Saxophone; George Coleman: Alto And Tenor Saxophones; Tom Kirkpatrick: Trumpet; Harold Mabern: Piano; Daniel Vitale: Bass; Billy Higgins: Drums.